Toms River will revise a proposed ordinance regulating short terms rentals –particularly those booked through online services such as Airbnb.
The council tabled a final vote on a policy that had already been introduced after representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and barrier island property owners feared it could impact legitimate rental businesses or real estate agents. The delay in passing the new regulations was opposed by residents of the Silverton and North Dover neighborhoods, who said their quality of life has been negatively impacted by short-term rentals.
The ordinance would have banned all rentals less than 30 days in length in all areas of the township except the barrier island. On the island, such rentals would only be allowed between April 15 and Sept. 15. The proposal also would have prohibited homeowners from renting specific amenities, such as pools, to tenants.
Jeremy Grunin, CEO of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce, read a statement from the chamber’s board of directors, stating the organization is not opposed to regulation, but the regulation should be “positive and not prohibitive.”
Some residents were concerned the wording of the ordinance does not adequately protect barrier island property owners who rent their homes, including at times outside the prescribed exception dates.
“This ordinance does not address people on the barrier island,” said Martha Boden, from the Ortley Beach section. “Are the realtors all informed on this? No.”
Complaints about the short-term rentals have primarily been from Silverton and North Dover residents, who expressed disappointment that the ordinance did not pass. They complained about noise, strangers walking through their neighborhoods, overcrowded homes and double-parked cars.
“Police have enough issues they have to deal with, and when potential problems seem obvious, the idea is to prevent them,” said Donald Fahringer, a Badger Drive resident, who told council members a foreclosed home was recently purchased by an investor whose aim is to rent it using Airbnb.
Council members said they would take the issue up again at the March 28 council meeting.