Bradley Beach Amends Short Term Rental Measure

By PETE WALTON

The Bradley Beach Borough Council has amended its short-term rental regulations to require an inspection and new certificate of occupancy every time a unit is rented to a new tenant.

Whether the home or apartment is rented for a night, a week, a month, a year or any period in between, property owners must submit to an inspection and obtain a new certificate of occupancy from the borough.

The current fee for the issuance of the certificate is $50.

The change will have the greatest impact on persons leasing out their property for short periods, mainly through online services such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.

At its meeting earlier this week, the council unanimously adopted the revised ordinance and repealed provisions which allowed for an annual summer rental license.

Under that policy, property owners were required to have their rental units inspected just once each summer.

The council decided to make the change after a review by borough code enforcement officials.

“The special summer rental license … conflicts with the certificate of occupancy requirements for residential rental units … and could be construed to negate the need to secure a certificate of occupancy each time the occupants of a summer rental property change,” the ordinance reads.

In other action at the meeting, the council unanimously approved a five-year strategic plan drafted after extensive consultation with borough officials, department heads and members of the public.

Borough resident and public service executive Paula Gavin compiled the information and presented the plan, which can be reviewed at the borough web site, bradleybeachnj.gov.

Mayor Gary Engelstad thanked Gavin for volunteering to organize the strategic plan project, which he said was the first in his 19-year involvement in local government.

The mayor asked borough residents to join five task forces to address many of the priorities laid out the plan. The task forces will examine “Main Street Excellence,” beachfront and oceanfront development, “powerful communications,” controlling taxes, and civic engagement.

Elected and appointed borough officials will join staff members on “administrative action teams” to consider preservation of the character of Bradley Beach, infrastructure enhancements, “high-impact governance,” the borough’s financial health, and “high-quality municipal services.”

Engelstad noted that the council’s adoption of the plan does not mean that the borough is committing itself to any specific spending measures.

By a 3-2 vote, the council gave final approval to its 2019 budget, which contains no increase in taxes raised for municipal purposes. Council members John Weber and Randy Bonnell voted against the motion, citing concerns about the process and the use of surplus funds to balance the budget.

The mayor noted that property owners should expect their school, county and local library taxes to go up. The council has no control over the three entities.

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