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War On Airbnb Ban Traveling Across Bergen County

An ordinance banning Airbnbs is being considered in Lyndhurst.
An ordinance banning Airbnbs is being considered in Lyndhurst. Photo Credit: Airbnb Screenshot Lyndhurst Area

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- Lyndhurst is following an increasing number of municipalities in Bergen County banning short-term rentals like Airbnb and HomeAway.

Lyndhurst Mayor Robert Giangeruso said a ban was discussed last month and an ordinance will be introduced at the Board of Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Ridgewood passed a short-term rental ban on Jan. 13, the Daily Voice reported Jan. 18.

The ordinance effectively prohibits any rentals fewer than 30 days. Violators will be fined.

RELATED: Ridgewood Forbids Short-Term House Rentals

A similar ban to Ridgewood's is in effect in Glen Rock, Palisades Park, Fort Lee, Cresskill and Englewood Cliffs.

Jersey City and Newark join Washington, D.C., San Diego and Portland in legalizing the measure, imposing a fee equal to their individual municipal hotel tax, according to multiple media reports.

Airbnb projects if the 50 largest US cities followed legalization, the tax intake would have been $250 million in 2016.

Giangeruso said Lyndhurst residents don't want it in their town and brought the Airbnb complaint to his attention.

"We're not in favor of it. Our concern is the safety of residents. There's no proper screening. There are people moving in and out every weekend and parking problems," said Giangeruso.

State law bans short-term rentals in New York City, although the practice still continues and listings for everything from entire apartments to single rooms can be found for rent.

Even in banned Bergen County towns, rental listings exist on the website the way illegal apartments can be found on Craigslist.

Airbnb wants to work with local governments to crafts laws that work for everyone, its website says.

Critics say the short-term rental service turns affordable apartments into unofficial year-round hotels.

In 2015, 23 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York City were saved from eviction, the privately-held company says on its website .

Airbnb is valued at $30 billion after its last round of fundraising in August, according to reports.

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