P&Z Votes for $150 Annual Permit Fee for ’Airbnb’ and Other Short-Term Rental Owners 

The Planning & Zoning Commission last week approved a measure whereby New Canaan property owners seeking to rent out their homes or rooms within them on a short-term basis, such as through the popular online service Airbnb, would need to pay an annual fee to the town. The $150 ‘Short Term Rental Permit Fee’ still requires approval by the Board of Selectmen, according to Town Planner Lynn Brooks Avni. Though not a revenue-generator, the fee would cover administrative costs such as application processing and filing, Brooks Avni told members of P&Z at their regular meeting, held Aug. 27 at Town Hall. Commissioner Bill Redman said, “It’s not a money maker but it puts them on notice they need to have the proper paperwork.

Nail Salon Owners to Town: No More Nail Salons

A group of nail salon owners and workers say there are too many such businesses in New Canaan and they’re urging the town to limit the number of them, officials say. About a dozen salon representatives came to Town Hall this month to meet with the town planner about regulating the number of nail salons in New Canaan, such as through a moratorium, according to a memo issued by Town Planner Lynn Brooks Avni ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. 

“The nail salon owners did note that the additional wellness boutiques that are opening in the downtown also provide similar services,” Brooks Avni said in the memo. “From a land use perspective it would be difficult to justify a moratorium on nail salons. Several boutique wellness studios have opened downtown as a result of the innovative legislation adopted by this Commission at its April 2018 meeting which included ‘wellness activities’ in the definition of ‘Personal Service Establishments.’ These boutique wellness studios have occupied what were previously vacant storefronts in the downtown.”

She referred to P&Z’s decision to amend the regulations so that service businesses could occupy street-level commercial spaces on Main and Elm Streets so long as they have a retail section in front. A Google search of “nail salon” in New Canaan returns 18 businesses, including spas that offer nail-related services.