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Neighbors in Village of Williamsville question Airbnbs

Posted at 1:33 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 01:33:52-04

On a quaint village street you'll find "Buffalo Joe's Village Oasis."  With the Village of Williamsville being only one square mile, it probably isn't the first place you'd search when hunting for Airbnb.

But there are several hosts popping up in the Village, including Jon Carvallo, who co-hosts Buffalo Joe's with his cousin, Joe.

In Erie County alone, there are currently more than 500 active hosts who have welcomed 61,800 guests over the past year.

While some neighbors question the legality of it, Village Trustee Matthew Etu welcomes it.  He said that they bring in tourists who help boost Main Street.

"I started looking in to it and they're not expressly legal, but they're not expressly prohibited." Etu said.

The Village isn't alone.  Amherst and the City of Buffalo are also exploring ways to regulate Airbnb.

The home sharing company is working with the Village in crafting legislation.  Josh Meltzer, Head of Northeast Policy, said in this statement:

Airbnb recognizes the need for common-sense regulation of home-sharing. That's why we have worked with more than 400 municipalities to craft policy that fits both the needs of local government as well as those of our local hosts -- and continue to work with many more, including Williamsville. As a result, we can address transparency and public safety concerns, empower hosts to continue using their homes to make ends meet and help guests to visit new places all over the world.

There's no timetable for when the proposed legislation may come about, but the Village Board said they are actively looking in to legislation for Airbnb.

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