Point Pleasant Beach, NJ order would limit short-term rentals

POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Mayor Paul Kanitra is appealing to residents to support an ordinance to be considered at Tuesday night’s borough council meeting that would limit short-term rentals.

The mayor said residents have complained over the past five years that investors are buying rental housing as opposed to traditional buying by secondary owners. It’s a trend that has led to an increase in short-term rentals with more people staying in homes.

“We want Point Pleasant Beach to be a vibrant community year round with as many residents as possible year round. The purpose of this ordinance is to fill the zoning loopholes that people have taken advantage of to earn money on the back of our year. -turn residents and achieve huge returns, ”Kanitra said.

Kanitra said home sales in Point Pleasant Beach reflect a national trend of 15% of homes sold to investors, increasing over the past two years to 25%. New housing projects also seem to reflect this trend, according to the mayor.

“We have houses that are literally built for rental only, which my building department tells me when they see the blueprints. No bright master bedroom, small living rooms, small dining rooms, layouts and designs that no one wants to live in all year round would want, ”Kanitra said.

Point Pleasant Beach (Bud McCormick)

Short-term rentals weigh on the community

For every small house that is demolished, Kanitra said larger houses, clearly designed for many people, are being built, placing a burden on the borough’s neighborhoods and services. Larger rentals mean less parking, as what was once a rental with two cars now pays six.

Kanitra said there were over 120 Airbnbs at Point Pleasant Beach in the summer of 2021.

“Many of these houses are advertised as’ sleeps 21. 23 beds ”. You take all these cars and put them in the neighborhoods, ”Kanitra said.

The biggest concern of residents is that these types of rentals take away from the vibrancy the borough is trying to create by growing the downtown area and the business community, especially during the off-season, according to the mayor, who said l he ordinance will help the borough in the future.

“By closing this loophole, we hope to deter these households from going in this direction,” Kanitra said.

Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk (Bud McCormick)

Full press by Airbnb, Vrbo

Kanitra said Airbnb and Expedia, which owns Vrbo, are trying to intimidate what they perceive to be a small town mayor and council by rallying investors from out of town. He cited as an example what he called “200 form emails” over the weekend received by him and the board.

“Every email started to ‘protect our local economy’ and with that BS argument, the ordinance would hurt the local economy,” Kanitra said. “Each of those email forms came from someone out of town, most of whom didn’t even own a property in town.”

Both companies allow people to advertise their homes for short and long term rentals and earn a commission on the rentals.

“They are afraid of the precedent our ordinance would set, as other mayors are already contacting us and trying to discuss how they can emulate what we are doing and that is probably why they are doing all their lobbying. us, ”Kanitra said.

The mayor said council shares his concerns and supports the ordinance.

In a statement to New Jersey 101.5, Airbnb spokesperson Samuel Randall expressed disappointment at Kanitra’s reaction to residents’ comments.

“It’s disappointing to see a mayor have such a visceral reaction to hearing his constituents, the residents of Point Pleasant Beach, who are standing up for their right to share their homes and bring the kind of tourist activity back to the borough that benefits residents. small local businesses and helping residents and voters make ends meet. “

The borough council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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