CASSADAGA – The Cassadaga Property Alliance has been formed in response to the village of Cassadaga Zone Review Committee’s recommendation to place restrictions on property owner rights without public input or voice. More than 280 members joined the alliance within a six-week period of its launch.
The alliance website cassadagapropertyalliance.com outlines best practice and management for short-term rental properties in the village. The Village Board of Trustees temporarily tabled a motion to enact a temporary moratorium law for up to 540 days that would suspend property owners’ rights who may desire to own and operate a hospitality rental property.
The alliance recently elected a board of directors to include Jeff Kozak, chairman, Susan Asquith, vice chair and Jeanne MacKrell, secretary. Additional board members are Cassadaga property owners Rudy Abersold, Brad Blizzard, Kim Collins, Judy Garncarek, and Rick Vahl.
“We as community property owners and taxpayers couldn’t stand by and let the village work actively to take away personal property rights without any discussion or productive dialogue with homeowners,” said newly elected chairman Jeff Kozak. “No one argues there should be operating provisions for managing rental properties. However, there is no justification for this extreme action of implementing a moratorium given no complaints have ever been made within the village and when less than five percent of all properties in the village are short-term rentals.”
The Cassadaga Zone Review Committee began revising the village’s zone code to complement its updated five-year comprehensive plan ratified in 2021. It announced it was developing language suspending short term rental properties without any public input. The village’s comprehensive plan recommends and supports the development of the area as a four-season, eco-tourism destination. There are no hotels or multi-unit rental properties within the village boundaries to provide easy access to the New York State boat launch or lakes.
The alliance recently drafted and submitted proposed operating code language for the Village of Cassadaga Board of Trustees on hospitality properties and offered to volunteer to help organize and facilitate a public workshop to capture public input. Several public meetings, a public hearing, and zone review committee meetings have been held and attended by mostly people opposed to the moratorium. To date, the village and its representatives have rejected holding a community-wide public engagement and have not responded to the alliance’s proposed code language.
In addition, the gropu is working to:
¯ Ensure all rental property owners follow best practice ownership guidelines and ensure management enhances the quality of life of the village and surrounding community.
¯ Help facilitate a business-friendly environment to promote eco-tourism and hospitality.
¯ Assist in promoting the execution of the Updated Five-Year Comprehensive Plan.
¯ Work with local organizations to promote and complement fundraising activity that benefits the lake environs and overall village.
¯ Advocate on behalf of the village for economic development and tourism, and activate the nearly 300 CPA members to engage in activities and issues affecting the village’s quality of life.
“We feel very strongly that a resident’s property rights should be protected first and foremost,” said Kozak. “The village’s focus should be on economic activation that properly manages business growth and enhances quality of life, not obstructing opportunity. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Village of Cassadaga’s Zone Review Committee and Board of Trustees towards creating zoning language that represents the wants and needs of the entire community.”