Upper to Hold Hearing on Short-term Rental Rules – Cape May County Herald

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PETERSBURG – The Upper Township Committee has introduced an ordinance aimed at regulating short-term rentals while allowing residents to earn income from their properties.

The ordinance says that “certain transitory uses of residential properties tend to affect the residential character of the community.” Its intended purpose is to strike a balance between property owners engaging in short-term rentals while protecting “the public health, safety and general welfare” of neighbors.

The ordinance says it is further intended to monitor and create a reasonable process for short-term rentals of property, as well as provide regulations to “protect the integrity of the township’s residential neighborhoods” and to ensure property maintenance standards.

The measure was introduced at the committee’s Jan. 22 regular meeting and will have a second reading and public hearing on Monday, Feb. 26.

Short-term rentals are defined under the ordinance as “the rental of a dwelling unit for 30 consecutive days or less, but not less than seven consecutive days.”

The ordinance does not apply to hotels, motels, campgrounds or condominium campgrounds, or to owner-occupied dwellings.

Owners must register their short-term rentals annually, running April 1 through March 31 of the following year. The annual license fee is $100.

The ordinance also includes “short-term rental restrictions,” including:

  • Limiting parking to two cars per three-bedroom house, including on-street parking. An additional car is allowed for each additional bedroom.
  • Occupancy shall be no more than two people per bedroom.
  • Occupants shall comply with municipal ordinances and state statutes pertaining to noise, nuisances and health concerns.
  • No amplified music shall be permitted outdoors after 9 p.m.
  • All trash must be put in closed containers and placed at the curb on the scheduled pickup day.
  • All advertisements of the rental shall include the restrictions contained in the ordinance.

Violators of the ordinance are subject to up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,250, which is at the discretion of the municipal judge, but will be $100 minimum. Each day a violation occurs is considered a separate violation.

Deputy Mayor Kim Hayes led a subcommittee that developed the regulations. She said members of the public were brought onto the subcommittee and looked at the needs for Strathmere, Beesley’s Point and various other residential areas.

The subcommittee, Hayes said, came to a consensus on the regulations, including limiting short-term rentals to two guests per bedroom and no more than two cars to a three-bedroom house.

She said she is eager to hear the public’s feedback on the ordinance when it comes up for its second reading and public hearing on Feb. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Upper Township Hall.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at [email protected] or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

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