Vernon’s short-term rental policy to be clarified

Vernon. The business administrator said the policy’s wording needs to be clarified so that short-term rentals do not turn into long-term rentals.

Vernon /
| 14 Oct 2021 | 03:07

A single tenant in Vernon will not be able to lease a residence for more than 180 days, according to a proposed revision to the township’s short-term rental policy adopted during the pandemic last year.

Councilman Andrew Pitsker said the amendment would prevent short-term rentals from turning into long-term rentals.

Vernon’s business administrator, Charles Voelker, said the policy now defines short-term rentals as units leased for 30 or fewer consecutive days, up to a cumulative total not to exceed 180 days in a calendar year. “We realized we may have – in the definition – left off the word ‘consecutive’ for the second part, where we were saying it would be 30 days or less consecutive days up to a total period not to exceed 180 consecutive days,” he said. “The word ‘consecutive’ is not used the second time.”

The chief financial officer, Donelle Bright, said the ordinance has succeeded in bringing revenue to the township and helping to stabilize taxes.

Council President Harry Shortway said the township uses the hotel occupancy tax to support open space and to help pay for the replacement of turf fields at Maple Grange Park.

“It seems from the feedback we’re getting, this short-term rental ordinance solved quite a few problems,” Mayor Howard Burrell said. “If you remember when this was discussed, people had all different kinds of complaints, and those have simply kind of gone away. I can’t imagine people are no longer reporting them because I think that the number of shorter-term rentals are probably up.”

Voelker said had not heard from the police about problems at short-term rentals. But he did hear about violations in the condominiums at Great Gorge Village. He said Comet Management, which manages the common areas, acted against the condominium owners.

“They were less strict or not as harsh as they would be if we had taken action against those owners,” Voelker said. “That seemed to set the tone. We did not have a continuing problem with any of the particular units up in that area.”

Councilwoman Toni Cilli said people she’s heard complaints from are not going to the township. “I’m not saying there’s hundreds,” Cilli said. “I’m just saying maybe there’s three or four that people just don’t know how to reach out to you.”

Residents may report suspected violations by calling 973-240-5626.

“It seems from the feedback we’re getting, this short-term rental ordinance solved quite a few problems.” Mayor Howard Burrell