POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Opponents and supporters of proposed restrictions on short-term-rentals, such as Airbnbs, squared off during a nearly four-hour council meeting attended by about 50 people on Tuesday night.
Rental property owners said the proposed rules, which would eliminate most weekend rentals, will “devastate the economy” of the borough, harming not only rental businesses but also restaurants and shops in town that depend on tourists.
Mayor Paul Kanitra said new rules are needed to stop the incursion of rental businesses into neighborhoods that were meant to be strictly residential, and to prevent the borough from becoming a “ghost town” in the winter.
The council introduced Ordinance 2021-23 on Tuesday; the formal public hearing and vote on adopting the measure are set for 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7.
The proposed rules state that no dwellings may be rented for a period of fewer than seven days from May 15 to Sept. 30, or less than one month in the off-season.
There are exceptions. The short-term restrictions do not apply to owner-occupied multi-unit dwellings if the homeowner personally resides in one of the units; or if a resident who owns more than one home in the borough is actually living in the borough from Sept. 30 to May 15.
The exemptions do not apply to people who own property in the borough but have their primary residence elsewhere.
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