The ongoing review of an application for Stralow Farm, a short-term rental on Lattintown Road, dominated most of the Marlborough Planning Board’s December 4 meeting.
Owners Eric Stralow and Raven Burgos seek approval for a short-term rental cottage at 551 Lattintown Road. The 27.7 acre parcel is zoned rural-agricultural (R-Ag-1), and the two-room rental unit is what is commonly known as a “tiny house.” There is also a private home and mobile home on the parcel.
The couple plan to rent the small unit to a maximum of four people. Patrick Hines, principal of MHE Engineering of New Windsor and consultant for the Town of Marlborough, noted that the town’s code-enforcement officer had no issue with its use as a short-term rental. Many of his and the board’s queries concerned the sanitation system that the tiny house utilizes.
“In your application, it states that ‘human waste is removed by clients,’” Hines noted. “I don’t know how that is done and if that would be acceptable in Ulster County.”
Burgos explained that toilet waste becomes encased in a moisture-proof, odor-proof container made from thick plastic. This then goes into a box for removal or disposal.
“We encourage guests to take it with them, but if they don’t want to do that it is disposed of in our dumpster by our cleaning person for an extra fee,” Burgos noted. “That entire fee is then paid to our cleaning person.”
Board member Steve Jennison said the process differed significantly from the composting toilets commonly used in travel campers, and wanted to know which code in county and state regulations covered the type of disposal system Burgos described. “I’m only aware of the requirements for a composting toilet,” he said.
Jennison also inquired whether the couple had obtained a letter addressing this topic from the Ulster County Health Department. “I don’t have that but I will do whatever needs to happen to get it,” Burgos responded.
Other questions for Burgos and Stralow stressed their need to clarify that the mobile home on the couple’s property would not be used as a rental. The mobile home is vacant, Burgos noted.
“I submitted our bookings with our application to clarify that just the small unit is rented, and the mobile home is not,” Burgos said. The couple has rented the tiny house for several years and is filing the short-term rental application because of a change in the town code. Burgos added that the couple usually rents to just two people at a time.
Board member Bob Troncillito noted that modifications are needed to the site’s driveway. “It is very long and the Fire Department is requiring the applicants to put in a small turnaround at the end,” Troncillito said. “A small knoll there will need to be taken out to create the turnaround.”
Board member James Garofalo said check-in/check-out times, which are on the application, don’t adequately describe the hours of operation for Stralow Farm. “It really should say 24/7,” Garofalo said.