RED BANK – Could restrictions to Airbnb rentals come to Red Bank?
The Red Bank Borough Council has brought forth an initial proposal to limit where short-term rentals could be located.
Councilman Michael Ballard, who chairs the code enforcement committee said, “It’s noteworthy that these short-term rentals are severely impacting our residential neighborhoods, to the detriment of the peaceful enjoyment of a lot of our residents.”
The proposed ordinance states that it intends to “preserve and protect the long-term housing market in the borough.”
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It would limit short-term rentals to the two downtown commercial districts in town and the highway business district along Newman Springs Road.
“Why it was restricted to the commercial and the highway business district is because these are businesses,” Ballard said. He noted that there are about 15 Airbnb rentals that operate in Red Bank.
Mayor Pasquale “Pat” Menna asked that borough professionals have a say in the proposed changes.
“Bad planning decisions have been made by this borough and we’re living through it every day in residential neighborhoods as well as commercial districts because they were done to essentially accommodate a couple of voices,” Menna cautioned. “Whatever changes we do to zoning, runs with the land.”
Councilwoman Kate Triggiano said that a permit process for short-term rentals was needed, but questioned the restriction of the units to the commercial and business areas. She said short-term rentals can only exist where housing exists.
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Anthony Setaro is the fourth generation of his family to own the Setaro House, a historical property on Oakland Street. He said such a zoning change could impact his business. The 120-year-old duplex is an Airbnb rental that exists outside the proposed zones.
“It was originally used in 1901 for daily and weekly short-term rentals,” Setaro said. “So, we’re literally using it in a way that it was originally built.”
Menna said in his case, it is possible to apply to the zoning office to declare the property a preexisting nonconforming use and continue to operate as a short-term rental if the current proposal goes through.
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Councilman Ed Zipprich noted that across the borough, there are a number of residents who rent out their basements without taking into consideration fire safety.
“It’s difficult for our professionals to do those inspections and actually know that (there are rentals) going on until something happens,” Zipprich said. “The ultimate goal is to make sure that everyone who vacations or rents or has business meetings in these facilities are safe.”
Ballard said he can bring the proposal back to the code enforcement committee where “We can hammer out the wrinkles and bring it back to the council.”
OliviaLiuis a reporter covering transportation, Red Bank and western Monmouth County. She can be reached at email@example.com.