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Posts Tagged ‘Airbnb in Ocean Grove’

A perfect potential Ocean Groovy Airbnb rental–all the charm of our special town. Blogfinger photo. ©  (This is not actually an Airbnb rental; just an illustration)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In a recent “just wondering” segment, we began to consider the facts surrounding the new rental phenomenon where people in town can turn their homes into impromptu hotels, making fast money by renting living spaces for short visits—even just one night, but usually defined as less than 30 days.

Or course, there have been rentals, especially summertime, in Ocean Grove, going back to the town’s founding when there was a huge religious tourism industry along with many rooming houses and hotels.

But now, all over the world, homeowners are accepting tenants who connect with others on the Internet—Airbnb has an app.

According to one Grover*, this has become a problem because these Airbnbers ride into town and expect hotel amenities.  They don’t know our rules and customs and they bring parties with them.

But, regarding the rules of the road, Neptune Township has control, and I have spoken to Code Enforcement this morning.

The fact is that Airbnb rentals in Ocean Grove are  no different than any other short term rentals in town.

You may not rent a room.  You may rent an apartment or a house, but with each rental, a CI  (Certificate of Inspection) is required.  If you are doing rapid turnovers, such as one night at at a time, you must renew the CI with each rental.

—-*Airbnb on Blogfinger August 10 post

JOE WILLIAMS imagining a rental in quaint OG:

 

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

 

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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?”

“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 (and copycats) have created a business model that lets any homeowner turn their house or condo or apartment into an instant make-shift hotel.

A quick 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.

www.airbnb.com/s/Ocean-Grove–Neptune-Township–NJ–United-States/homes?allow_override%5B%5D=&s_tag=qdPiRWi7&section_offset=1

www.airbnb.com/rooms/916970

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.”

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