Jersey City Votes Yes On New Regulations For Short-Term Rentals Like Airbnb
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Jersey City residents overwhelmingly approved a controversial new city law that will restrict short-term rental properties, including Airbnbs.
With 97 percent of voting districts reporting, 16,193 "Yes" votes were cast while 7,201 "No" votes were cast, that's according to results on the Hudson County website.
The ordinance will to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
For more information on what the ordinance will entail, click here.
More than $5 million has been raised and spent in the battle over a Jersey City ballot question that decides whether or not stricter regulations should be in place for short-term rentals.
It’s by far the most expensive local ballot question in state history, outdoing the $1 million spent a decade ago on a public question in Trenton.
Back in June, the Jersey City Council approved a measure that would have started implementing changes to the short-term rental regulations that were first put in place back in 2015.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who has been outspoken about his support for stricter regulations, said Tuesday’s decision carries big weight.
“The bottom line is that it’s the first time in the country that there is going to be conversation around what voters feel about short-term rentals," he explained.
"And we believe that regulations are important and this is not a ban; this is going to allow owners to responsibly rent their place but at the same time it’s going to protect neighborhoods."
With the yes vote, the ordinance would go into effect January 2020.
Some of the new regulations would include prohibiting short-term rentals in buildings with more than four units, when the owner is absent, as well as preventing renters from sharing their homes.
Christian Gavilian's property is listed on Airbnb and he said Tuesday’s decision will play a huge factor in his life.
"I do believe we should have regulations but i don’t think these are the ones," he said.
Over on the other side of town, Linda D’Esposito was casting her vote in favor of stricter regulations.
She says the original 2015 guidelines simply are not working.
"If I had voted no, you would have more buildings bought up to be turned into illegal hotels in areas not zoned for them. And if I had to look, I would have an even harder time looking for affordable housing than I already have.
Liz Debold Fusco is a spokesperson for Airbnb and she says a solution that benefits everyone is possible.
"We want the people to vote no against the ban but the very next day, our community has said they want to sit down with the city and sit down with the mayor and find a real regulatory path forward for home sharing here in Jersey City."