TOMS RIVER-Seaside vacationers looking for a place to spend a few days on the barrier island in Ocean County these days are turning to Airbnb to find short term summer vacations rentals.
Airbnb is a San Francisco based firm that connects rental property owners directly with potential renters through their iphone, mobile devices and online.
The service allows travelers to book accommodations worldwide, directly with the property owners.
The Toms River Township council has recently attempted to regulate Airbnb style rentals within its borders, restricting short term rentals under 30 days on the mainland year round and limited airbnb rentals to a period between April 15th and September 15th on the barrier island.
Justin Lamb, a Lavallette police officer who is challenging incumbent councilwoman Maria Maruca in the township’s first ward called the ordinance a knee jerk decision.
“The Township Council’s overreach in its hastily delivered Airbnb measure illustrates the type of bad decision making that needs to end now. The ordinance as delivered was a knee-jerk reaction that was short-sighted and showed the lack of understanding the governing body has with our residents. After coming under fire by our Ward 1 residents, they now are quickly working to undo the draconian course they prematurely took,” Lamb said. “As a strong Republican, I believe that any restriction on individual property rights is not consistent with the same conservative principles our Township Council members now claim to be running on in this primary election. With that being said, the council’s unwillingness to craft an ordinance that balances the interests and concerns of every resident in Ward 1 should not be tolerated. This type of knee-jerk decision-making must end now. The residents of Ward 1 deserve a more transparent and rational governing body.”
Toms River’s first ward is split between the eastern portion of Toms River on the mainland and the township’s barrier island communities.
The township is scheduled to host a public hearing to revise the airbnb ordinance on April 25th at 6pm at town hall.