Amend or Remove New Ban on Short-Term Rentals in Point Pleasant Boro NJ

Amend or Remove New Ban on Short-Term Rentals in Point Pleasant Boro NJ

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Responsible Rental Hosts started this petition to Pt Boro Mayor and Council

Point Pleasant Boro recently passed a damaging new ban on short term rentals (under 30 days). This ordinance was quietly passed the week of Thanksgiving 2020, during the peak of the winter covid wave and busy holiday period. The reasons given were that many Point Boro residents are full year residents and they do not want tourists coming and going in their neighborhoods. This ordinance is full of offensive and unfair language towards seasonal visitors, and was targeting Airbnb and other short term rental websites. Residents and visitors, we need your help to overturn this or amend it. Here’s why:

Residents: This town has many, many full time residents that directly rely upon or benefit from seasonal tourists and the business they bring in. Outside of those who actually rent their properties out for income, Point Boro also has many small business owners of local shops and restaurants, food services, cleaning and lawn services, boat rentals, fisherman, surf instructors, musicians, (just to name a few) who depend on the influx of seasonal tourists for their yearly income. This ordinance is directly penalizing the thousands of people who rent responsibly and manage their rentals well, and indirectly penalizing the rest of the residents who also benefit from the business that visitors bring in.

House rules, public nuisance and noise ordinances are already there to penalize problematic people. The mere presence of visitors in a coastal town isn’t a problem in itself - many are quite respectful and a positive influence on the town. Even though residents don’t love the traffic and crowds that their normally quiet town can experience during the summer, many depend on it for their income and property owners should be able to rent out their homes if it doesn’t cause issues to neighbors. Many visitors can only come for a long weekend or a week, and cannot relocate for 30+ days. This ban cuts the income of residents because it stops people being able to visit and stay locally. The people who look forward to staying in Point will have to pick a new shore destination (and spend their vacation money elsewhere.) 

Many people supporting the ban were not only completely inexperienced with either hosting or staying in Airbnb’s, but were citing issues that Point Beach has had with noise/garbage/damage from partying visitors that isn’t relevant. Point Boro isn’t the same as Point Beach, and even with all the issues they’ve had, Point Beach hasn’t banned short term rentals! This is because they know they depend on seasonal visitors. This ban was put in place without any evidence of actual problems or negative changes to neighborhoods in Point Boro coming from private short term rentals like needing extra police presence etc. Here’s the actual wording from the ordinance - “"This section aims to curtail, *and in certain circumstances prohibit*, the increasingly widespread practice of renting or leasing various types of dwellings, or segments thereof, located primarily in residential neighborhoods, on a short-term basis to transient guests. This practice has been popularized and facilitated by various websites that advertise and broker these rentals. Left unregulated, this practice will *transform many residential dwellings into flophouses to the detriment of the health, safety, and quiet enjoyment of the affected neighborhoods*."

For example- We are full time residents of Point Boro for many years and have rented out our family home using Airbnb many times, while we are away. Sometimes it’s just a specific weekend or two, sometimes it’s a month of bookings over summer. Sometimes it’s enough to simply cover our own trip, sometimes it’s much-needed income to support our family. We as hosts have the power to thoroughly vet guests and set our house rules, refuse guests for any reason, and because we aren’t walkable to the beach, most of the people attracted to our property are families and friends who want a quiet place near the beach. The policy of Airbnb is to leave things how you found them, because it’s a home. It’s not the same attitude as a beachfront hotel or empty rental who doesn’t ask questions about the guests. It’s hardly the picture that the ordinance paints for what short term rentals do. This ban is unfair to those of us who rent but are responsible with our homes, love our neighborhoods and value our neighbors, because it is possible to both value your neighbors AND run short term rentals.

Truthfully, someone could be problematic next door whether they’re temporary or not, whether it’s 2 days or 30 days, or whether they’re house sitting/visiting for free or they’re paying to do so. The way to prevent problems is to be able to enforce rules for disturbance of the peace, not to simply not have visitors. We don’t want to change the character of Point Boro, we just want to be able to rent our home safely and responsibly without penalty from the town. 

Visitors: This greatly cuts down the amount of available properties for the thousands of you who come for short visits. You’d have to stay further away, or not be able to come at all because with less properties comes fully booked hotels/rentals, and therefore raised prices. They’re penalizing everyone who loves the Point Pleasant area because of people who aren’t responsible while here, even though it’s not most of you. 

Please sign to show your support for overturning this new ordinance or amending it to allow for responsible rentals. We should be able to keep our town safe AND support our residents who rely on seasonal visitor income. 

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