Jackson council adopts ordinance to prohibit short-term rentals

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JACKSON – An ordinance that has been adopted by the Jackson Township Council will prohibit the rental of residential dwellings for less than 30 days.

The ordinance was adopted by the members of the governing body during their Aug. 11 meeting, just a few weeks after an event in July that required police officers from Jackson and several other municipalities to disperse more than 700 people from a party at a house on Mill Pond Road.

Police said an investigation determined the home had been rented on a short-term basis from the homeowner through a vacation rental online marketplace.

Charges were filed against the homeowner and the party organizers for violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order regarding the number of people who may gather at a location during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

The ordinance states that “no dwelling, or segment thereof, may be rented or leased for a term of less than 30 days” and that “the lease or rental of multiple rooms within a dwelling to a single tenant or separate tenants is prohibited.”

Voting “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance were councilmen Ken Bressi, Stephen Chisholm Jr., Martin Flemming and Andrew Kern.

Council President Alexander Sauickie was absent from the meeting.

Upon the ordinance’s introduction two weeks earlier, Sauickie said the local legislation was “not a knee-jerk reaction (to the house party), but more the final straw. This council has repeatedly said we will fight for our fellow residents’ quality of life and they can be sure this incident will not simply go away with a fine, but will be a catalyst to ensure it never happens again.”

In other business, at the Aug. 11 meeting the council:

• Authorized the purchase of five 2021 Ford Police Interceptor sport utility vehicles at a cost of $168,338 from Beyer Ford for the Jackson Police Department;

• Authorized the purchase of electronic equipment from Wireless Electronics Inc. at a cost of $38,164 for five police vehicles;

• Authorized renewal of a campground license for Butterfly Camping Resort, 360 Butterfly Road;

• Authorized renewal of a campground license for Timberlake Campground, 1335 Reed Road;

• Authorized the preparation, advertisement and acceptance of bids for improvements to Brewers Bridge Road – Phase 3.