Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Airbnb in Ocean Grove’ Category

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

During prior discussions of Airbnb’s  in OG, we learned that the practice of short term rentals is alive and well in the Grove with over 200 listings.  We also learned that many of those who live near such rental units are unhappy because those renters don’t often consider the welfare of those who actually live in those neighborhoods.   There is the perception that the quality of life around such rental units may be compromised due to noise, lack of consideration of neighborhood residents, ignorance of Grovarian customs, carelessness with garbage, parking glut, and parties with crowding.

Here is the latest from the Township.  It is from the minutes of their meeting on February 10, 2020:  Mayor Lane presiding.

The Committee discussed the hotel/motel occupancy tax. Ms. Rizzo suggested that the focus for now be on the hotels and motels with the Airbnb’s being considered at a later time. The bulk of the revenue would come from about nine hotels in the Township. Mr. Williams stated that he spoke to the NJ Division on Taxation and they clarified that this tax is referred to as an occupancy tax and not a hospitality tax.

Dr. Brantley asked why the Airbnb’s are not being considered now.

Mr. Gadaleta stated that a meeting is being set up to discuss how to identify Airbnb’s so that the tax could be charged. Mr. Anthony added that keeping up with the inspections and identification of Airbnb’s will be more of a challenge. Mr. Williams stated that the problem with doing just the hotels and motels is that the Committee would be imposing an additional tax on the people who doing things properly in terms of inspections and registration. There was discussion on whether or not this is an additional tax or merely a collection of tax by the Township that is already being paid to the state.

Mr. Gadaleta will prepare a report to clarify some of the questions about the tax.

 

During the public portion of the meeting, no one in the audience had anything to say about this topic.

Feel free to use the Blogfinger comments section to talk about this subject.  There is nowhere else that such an open dialogue can take place.  Where are the hotels, B&B’s, etc. on this topic?  Don’t they have a voice?   They are not listed on the OG Chamber of Commerce members list.

Here is a link to a 2018 poll which we ran on Blogfinger about citizen opinions regarding Airbnb’s in town:

Airbnb poll in OG

 

There are other BF articles on this subject.   Just do a search in the box at the upper right corner of our home page.  Type in “airbnb”

EDITORIAL NOTE:   This topic is about more than just Airbnb’s.   The Township, it seems, cares only about the revenue to be derived from Ocean Grove. It is the old “cash cow” syndrome. They don’t give a damn about the quality of life of those residents who live here.

You can tell from their choice of topics relative to the Airbnb issue, which is about much more than taxes.      These Neptuners are shameless in the way that they ignore the people of the Grove.

 

LEON REDBONE   “Reaching for Someone and Not Finding Anyone There.”

 

Read Full Post »

Main Avenue Ocean Grove. The people want to preserve our lifestyle and keep the small town of Ocean Grove historic and uncluttered. Paul Goldfinger photo of the Days Kazoo Band on July 4.    Blogfinger.net

 

We have announced the forthcoming Planning Board meeting and have encouraged citizens to attend. I would caution you about a dirty trick sometimes evoked in the past whenever a controversial topic was to be discussed at the Mother Ship.

If a large number of Grovers were anticipated to attend, the meeting might be cancelled and rescheduled in the dead of winter.

Here’s a copy of some information transmitted by email from the OGHOA:

“The North End Redevelopment Agreement will be on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting of the Neptune Township Planing Board on Wednesday, November 13.  7 pm in the second floor meeting room at the Municipal Building, 25 Neptune Boulevard.

“The Planning Board will review the Redevelopment Agreement and the many plans that are incorporated in the Agreement. These include the site plan, traffic plan, drainage plan, landscaping plan and architectural drawings. There’s a lot to unpack here, and the Planning Board’s review is a key part of the process.

“If you care about this issue; the obligations of the redeveloper and how construction in the North End is expected to unfold, you should attend the Planning Board meeting.”

 

Blogfinger finds this message from the Groaners to be hopelessly incomplete either due to  ignorance of the subject or purposeful evasiveness.

Among the many issues which should be addressed in the open include:  Environmental impact, financial guarantees, parking garage, parking in the neighborhood, easements across the boardwalk, subdividing one lot into two,  plans to block public access, impact on Grover lifestyles in that area and actually all over town, air and light for the public, relationship with the Asbury Park Casino, elevations related to the boardwalk,  pollution of Wesley Lake, plans for Lake Avenue,  HPC evaluation, flood prevention,  retaining wall along the lake, payment to repave the Municipal Building parking lot, types of retail, condominium details, access for fire and sanitation, CMA ground rents agreements, and the very legality of these proceedings.

Since this plan is a redevelopment plan which received preferential zoning, the public has a need- to-know place in the process. This presentation should be an open book, and the reading of that book should take many meetings to be done properly.  Maybe you can think of some topics that you would like to hear about.

Can you imagine that all the above “plans”  might be approved in one fell swoop?  Well, if the Planning Board wants to rush it through  (a “snow job,”) they will, but the topic and all its ramifications  should be carefully considered, and that should require many public meetings.

Blogfinger reporters will be at the meeting, and Jack will be breathing fire, and hopefully he won’t be the only one bringing a ring of fire.

—PG     Blogfinger.net

 

JOHNNY CASH: 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

Internet photo

Musical selection from Avenue Q.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

If you rent out an apartment or a house in Ocean Grove, you are engaging in a business.  And if your property is marked R  (residential) on the zoning map, then what you are doing may not be legal.  But have no fear, because Neptune Township allows you to do it, and it has been done for many years in this beach town.

Just get a Mercantile (business) license once per year. and have a CO inspection done whenever you have a new tenant. Such rentals in the Grove are not unusual, and it is not uncommon for vacationers to rent a place for a week or two.  If you rent for over 30 days, then a lease would be needed.  And note that you cannot rent out just a room unless you are a hotel with business zoning.

But what about those Airbnb people who are renting out houses and apartments on the Internet for short term use, down to one night.  Currently there are 105 properties for rent on Airbnb in OG. Apartments rent from about $100 to $300 on average per night.  Houses will be more.     Some owners offer Airbnb rentals in more than one home in the Grove and sometimes in more than one town.  This can be a significant money maker for some.

We have heard from Grovers who have been complaining about Airbnb renters who are not gracious visitors and who change the entire complexion of a neighborhood.

But at the last Township Committee meeting  (June 11) another side has been heard from.  Committeemen Carol Rizzo reported that she had met with an Airbnb businessman who owns a number of buildings for purposes of short term rentals, and some of those are in Ocean Grove. She said that he complained to her about all the red tape that he must endure whenever he has a new renter.

We are not sure why she brought this up officially, at his request;  ie where does she stand on this issue? He also got to present his problem during the public portion.  He had 5 minutes, and he said that the Neptune rules are too restrictive and complicated for his business;   No one spoke up in response, one way or another.

The Mayor did not commit to placing this complaint on a forthcoming agenda, so we don’t know where he stands either.

Consider this:

a.  Usually if a person is interested in a zoning ordinance change, the matter is referred to the Planning Board.

b. One of Ocean Grove’s most important citizens, David Shotwell, Sr., the former long-term COO of the CMA said this yesterday  in a comment to Blogfinger regarding our article on the subject:   “A helpful discussion  of the short term housing situation. Much to be done to manage the situation.”  I consider his interest in this topic to be a beacon that we all should pay attention and that active legislation may be needed on behalf of the citizens.

c. We can’t speak for Mr. Shotwell’s motives, but some of our readers are already alerted to a possible threat to our way of life in the Grove.   As it is, there are other concerns as well regarding the quality of life in Ocean Grove such as gridlock.  We have written plenty on that topic.

d.  Any attempt by any citizen group or government entity to increase the crowding of Ocean Grove should be resisted by those who live here. Short term rentals will undoubtedly increase crowding of the Grove.

e. The Home Groaners are having a meeting next Saturday about the Neptune Police Department.  How many of you think that we in OG have serious problems with our police?   Shouldn’t the Groaners be addressing this topic—Airbnb.  Where do they stand?  They are all too often on the wrong side of issues that affect our lifestyles here.

f.  From Airbnb: “What started as a simple platform to offer mattresses and home-made breakfast has today revolutionized the way people travel. Airbnb business model is unique, profitable, and has evolved to such a level that the brand is now the world’s most loved hospitality brand.”  Each of the 3 founders now has personal wealth of $1 billion.

If you read their sales pitch, you will see that they want to invade small popular  communities such as ours, and as they tout the profits to be made, they offer no interest in the towns themselves.  And thus we will see more business opportunists coming into town to buy houses just for  short term rentals profits, but with no concern for the Grove itself.    This exploitation bodes ill for our historic district and its Master Plan.

Only Neptune Township can find ways to protect our lifestyles in this town, as did our neighbor Ocean Township.   For a change Neptune should worry about us and act preemptively.

And meanwhile, is Neptune effectively enforcing the existing rules?

 

THE GRASCALS:   “Stay All Night.”

 

Read Full Post »

Are Airbnb renters causing density problems?  Blogfinger.net photo. ©

 

L1004920

Will all those Airbnb renters spoil our views and thus our quality of life in OG?  Blogfinger photo. ©

The letter, below, comes from an anonymous source whom we shall call “Crowded in the Grove.” He titles his inquiry “Where is our Community?”  We are reposting this article because there will soon be renewed interest in this topic. (2018)

“The impact of transient summer rentals has all but eliminated our town as a community, and we are just at the brink of becoming just one big motel. Having lived here for many years, I feel like Rip Van Winkle returning from a deep sleep, not recognizing any vestige of what once was Ocean Grove; in just a matter of two to three years, a drastic change has occurred.

“Neighbors  no longer exist, as weekly and daily transients have taken their place on both sides of my house. I no longer have neighbors with whom I can make small talk to but people I have to be suspicious of, because I do not know who they are, as they have become weekly “ships in the night.”  Many of my original neighbors have moved due to the fact that they did to want to live in a revolving motel atmosphere which these homeowners have created.

“These crammed rentals are also part of the parking problems in the Grove as they sometimes have 5 or 6 cars, and they demonstrate little regard for the the residents.

Editor’s Note:   This is a fascinating inquiry, because Airbnb has created a business model that lets any homeowner turn their house or condo or apartment into an instant make-shift hotel.

A quick (2017) survey of Airbnb.com reveals that there are currently 87 ads for Ocean Grove with daily fees of $90-$600 per night.

The homeowner supplies some amenities, but that varies.  It could include towels, linens, and soap. Two links below show some of the listings:

We don’t know if our writer is correct about the prevalence and consequences of this phenomenon in OG, but given the already tight density situation here, anything that might further cause deterioration in quality of life for residents interests us at Blogfinger.  I am a homeowner and have not (yet) noticed this situation, but most of my neighbors are year-round residents.

The new concept of instant hotels is part of what’s called the “sharing economy.”  One person has set up a business to rent out home swimming pools by the hour.

Neptune Township has no special ordinances to govern these transactions.  We are trying to find out if Code Enforcement has any rules such as certificates of occupancy.

But Ocean Township has just passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals——defined as any residential rental under 30 days*   They say that since they have no beaches, they don’t need short term rentals.   (So why are they named for the ocean?)

The Coaster quotes the Ocean Twp. ordinance:  “Short term rentals are detrimental to the community’s welfare and are prohibited  by local law because occupants of such vacation rentals do not have any connection to the community and to the residential neighborhoods in which they are visiting.”  The ordinance also says,…..”such rentals may jeopardize the community’s welfare and degrade the quality of life within the township.”

It’s not clear if the Ocean Twp rationale for banning short term rentals might apply to Ocean Grove, where short term vacation rentals in our beach town are common and could be accomplished through a realtor or a web site like Airbnb.

It seems that the presence or absence of an ocean shouldn’t make their ban OK while leaving us without one.  Anybody out there a lawyer??  Will that Ocean ruling be overturned in the spirit of Fats Waller (below)?

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

—*Source: The Coaster, August 10, 2017. Page 4.

FATS WALLER:   “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do.”

Read Full Post »