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Bedminster proposes regulating short-term rentals


Joining other communities in the county and elsewhere, Bedminster Township is moving toward regulation of short-term rentals on private residential properties.

The idea is to prevent or minimize, in enforceable fashion, excessive noise and other disruptions that have taken place elsewhere in conjunction with short-term rentals, while respecting rights of owners to make use of their properties.

The action was taken at the March 13 public board of supervisors meeting, as authorization to advertise an amendment to the township zoning ordinance to add “provisions for the establishment of an Accessory Short Term Rental Use.” A public hearing on the matter is to be conducted at the April 10 or May 8 supervisors’ meeting.

The proposed ordinance amendment includes clarifying home occupation use of residences as “an accessory use that shall be clearly subordinate to the existing residential use of the property,” with accessory referring only to a detached dwelling used by the owners as their primary residence. It also refers in particular to the renting out of one or more rooms “through websites such as Airbnb or VRBO.”

Among proposed restrictions are that the owner must be present overnight on the same property during the course of the short-term rental; that the rental period “shall be less than 15 consecutive nights and less than a total of 50 nights a year;” and that “the total rental period shall be no more than 24 separate rentals a year and no more than a total of 150 days a year.”

Permits are to be renewed annually, and are subject to revocation due to three or more zoning and/or criminal violations of terms during a 12-month period, as noted by the township, township police or state police.

Also at the March 13 meeting, supervisors authorized placing the township’s 1997 John Deere 310E backhoe for sale on Municibid, and authorized the budgeted purchase of a 2019 police patrol truck.

Among other needs, the latter is to support the new county requirement for traffic accident reconstructions, which call for special equipment and certified police officers, for any accident that includes injury.