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Marlboro council introduces ordinance to ban short-term rentals

MARLBORO – An ordinance that would, if adopted, prohibit residences in Marlboro from being rented on a short-term basis will be considered for adoption by the Township Council on Sept. 17.

The ordinance was introduced by council members on Aug. 13.

The ordinance states it will be “unlawful for an owner, lessor, sub-lessor, any other person or entity with possessory right in a dwelling unit, their principals, partners or shareholders, or their agents, employees or representatives to receive or obtain actual or anticipated consideration for advertising, offering and/or permitting, allowing or suffering the use or occupancy of any dwelling unit or of any residential property … for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.”

The ordinance excludes hotels, motels, rooming houses, boarding houses and bed and breakfast establishments that are otherwise permitted under the municipal code.

Asked why municipal officials are pursuing such a law at this time, Mayor Jonathan Hornik said, “Since the beginning of the summer, we have seen a large increase in daily backyard and house rentals for parties where a large number of out-of-area visitors have come to town to party for the day.

“These ‘parties’ violate social distancing requirements and risk the spread of COVID-19 to our community. Eliminating this risk is important to keep our community safe as we try to move forward in the new normal,” the mayor said.

Within the past few weeks, police in Howell and Jackson have reported instances in which individuals have rented a home on a short-term basis and subsequently hosted a large party at the location. Hundreds of party-goers were reported to have attended events at homes in those two communities.

Individuals found guilty of violating the ordinance would be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000, community service, or a jail term of not more than 90 days.

Residents who want to comment on the proposed ordinance may do so when the council conducts a public hearing during its Sept. 17 meeting.

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