TOMS RIVER – In order to combat “transient” guests, the Township Council changed the ordinance governing rental properties to extend the minimum amount of time anyone can rent.
“Significant complaints” came in from residents who have said that the houses are rented overnight to people who don’t treat the property or neighborhood with respect, business administrator Paul Shives said.
Therefore, the ordinance was changed in order to strike a balance: protecting inland neighborhoods that don’t want an influx of tourists, while allowing shorter stays on the barrier island where tourists are desired.
This ordinance will do three things: It will require landlords to register as a landlord no matter how long they rent their property out. They will be required to display a permit. They will be required to change the minimum stay. People can only stay for a minimum of two days during the period of April 1 through Nov. 30 on the barrier island. Outside of the barrier island, it would be a seven-day minimum.
The ordinance had been changed several times as residents and officials argued about how to balance the business interests with the residential. Several residents spoke out about it at the last Township Council meeting.
Resident Ed Correale said that lagoon properties would be considered mainland, however they are rented out by people who are looking to stay on the shore, much like the barrier island properties. He was looking for some flexibility to allow shorter stays for lagoon properties.
Alizar Zorojew, executive director of the Downtown Toms River Business Improvement District, agreed with Correale. “Lagoons and a number of other residences are desirable, and people rely on that income,” he said.
Richard Schrumpf of the newly-formed North Dover homeowners association welcomed the ordinance but said there is more work to be done.
“The heavy lift is the enforcement of the codes and ordinances and we believe there is much to be done in this regard. Good codes and ordinances are meaningless unless they are strictly and aggressively enforced,” he said.