About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Adk Contrarian says

    The best single solution is to simply increase the housing supply. But that is not helped when dedicated permanent housing is blocked by NIMBY, often xenophobic, opposition, such as in Webb. And then they wonder why their towns are dying because there’s nobody to staff emergency services or even the jobs that serve the tourists renting the STRs.

  2. Tim Emerson says

    This article and the legal “remedies” sweep aside the real issue — continuously rising property taxes. If STRs are prevented, those homes will become second homes to wealthy people from Manhattan and CT, just as many are already.

    The housing crisis will actually get worse, as will the economy — part time residents don’t contribute much.

    The state’s greed will spell the end of communities here. And gas stations, grocery stores, etc.

  3. Joan Grabe says

    Part Time residents don’t contribute much ? What world are you inhabiting ? Ask any Adirondack non profit organization where the bulk of their donations come from and they will tell you that it is from part time or seasonal residents. These are the organizations whose mission is encouraging thriving communities for residents, tourists and seasonal residents alike. Ask any county where the tax revenues have increased because of new more expensive housing which has been built. Ask any restaurant owner about his revenues during the summer months as opposed to the winter months. You just don’t like us much but you don’t care to know us or acknowledge the contributions we make. And guess what ? We love this place as much as you do !

  4. Laura says

    Just as much as we do, but not enough to live here full time. There are people who need homes here who actually love, and work, and appreciate the area simultaneously. This has been a problem for generations. Businesses have a high and low season. It’s the nature of the beast. Gentrification is happening with your “expensive home” proliferation. It’s ok. Those homes will need to be maintained, the people whom you depend on to run those not for profits will be diminished. There will be no one to run the seasonal businesses. It’s not always about the almighty dollar or tax revenue, there is a human component. You’re missing it.

  5. Norm says

    I absolutely love visiting the Adirondacks from WNY. I hope these towns can find a suitable solution. I think more units are needed everywhere. Perhaps some of the older closed/outdated motels sprinkled throughout the region could be converted into condos or made into more desirable rentals by making improvements (such as larger rooms and having kitchenettes) to take some pressure off of SFH. I’d definitely consider a quiet, family friendly motel (ideally with its own small kitchen, as we enjoy being able to make some of our own meals) as an alternative to the typical Airbnb.

  6. Plow Boy says

    More $$ for local budgets come from more expensive housing! Ask your assessor
    how much more $$ comes in from these higher price’s for homes that are selling which the assessors are using these high selling prices to increase all the folks homes taxes cause that is the market value and that is how property is accessed.
    So you have a double hit because of STR higher prices and higher taxes even for local owners.
    And do not even mention ” work force housing” which is just socialist spin word for subsidized housing IMHO

  7. Chuck Bechtel says

    I purchased a dilapidated property on Upper Saranac Lake in 2014. The real estate announcement stated it needed TLC. It did, it looked like a dump and sat vacant for over five years. Where were the locals that can’t find a property to buy?

    I didn’t know until I bought the property that it was ready to go up for sale for back taxes–they hadn’t been paid for years. I realized I had paid many times what the house would have sold for at the tax auction. The town of Santa Clara got their back taxes and had a new waterfront property owner who would now pay his taxes like clockwork. I also removed a neighborhood eye sore and turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.

    I pay the Central Saranac School District three times the taxes I pay to my school district in PA, but I never had nor will I ever have a child attending that school.

    My wife and I spent three years while we lived in Saranac Lake rebuilding the house. I was on a first name basis at Aubuchon’s, Curtiss Lumber, Tupper Lake Supply, the electrical supplier in Saranac Lake and with the five contractors I employed for almost three years. We pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. We took on a considerable debt load with NBT bank in Saranac Lake, and a real estate agent suggested STR s as a way to assist with mortgage and tax payments.

    I hope this magazine takes the time to interview the business owners and contractors who depend on the population swelling by multiples each summer with visitors who stay in STRs. It’s very hard to believe that they want to bite the hands that feed them.

    • ADK Native says

      The locals couldn’t afford the renovations. We don’t have the expendable income to buy second vacation homes in need of extensive repair. You apparently have too much. Don’t confuse your privilege with year round residents reality.

      • Teresa says

        Huh? You could not! They did! They contributed to your local economy then, right? A thank you would be sufficient!!

  8. Angela says

    I live in Saratoga Springs and we have the same problem with STRs..they have deteriorated our standard of living by allowing full time airbnbs in our neighborhoods.we have no neighbors..and what is being allowed( that is illegal) is hotels which should be in commercial zones.There is no one to evict the loud parties and barking dogs that renters leave behind for a concert or dinner. It has damaged our sense of community and I would like to see it banned here. If you want a hotel …open one up with the proper zoning !!

  9. Joan Grabe says

    Full time, part time ? Some folks are just not into winter ! Last time I looked we were all humans here, shopping in Shaheens, gassing up at the Stewarts, and going to the Farmer’s market.We pay our share of the taxes needed to keep this place going when we are not here. And the vital services you need when we are gone. What could be more equitable ?

  10. Local resident says

    All these STRs do is push out the local people that have lived here their whole life… and it makes it unaffordable for local people stay and raise families…

  11. Roberts says

    The towns need to revamp and raise requirements for these STR. my safety and quality of life has been put to the test time

    again and, again. A one lane, dead end, private roads that can not accommodate emergency vehicles should not approve STR.

  12. michael crane says

    Tim, you did a great job in illuminating the wide range of issues and perspectives on STRs. Now please dig deeper. There are many facts behind the factors you raise. Now tell us what is real. follow the money. How many STRs can actually be LTRs? How many units are really removed from our supply? How much new town revenue from increased property values if any, does a town generate? Does a ban on STRs prevent noise? Or does a noise ordinance? Do property assessments on second homes actually increase the tax bill for full-time residents? Keep digging, don’t let your research stop here.

  13. Laurie says

    My husband inherited property that sold for back taxes on Lake George. A home across from us sold for 3 mil, was razed, along with beautiful old trees, rebuilt, and our taxes go up. We have rented before, but now, it seems necessary just to pay the taxes. This issue is unbelievably complicated, and from where I stand, charging more money just puts the homesteaders out of their inheritances and into the hands of the wealthy who will do the same as we are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *