Mayor Sera: Brigantine Mismanaging Short-Term Rentals

Brigantine Mayor Vince Sera says there’s a real fear among residents that neighbors will convert their home into a short-term rental.

No surprise. Brigantine City Hall admits to an embarrassing lack of STR enforcement for years.

On August 16, proposed short-term-rental rules were shared with Brigantine residents.

Here’s a brief summary below, or watch video above.

Proposed: Two-night rental minimum for large properties, 3+ bedrooms.

Note: Two-night rental minimum not likely to stop party house weekends.

Bachelor and bachelorette parties: still a problem for summer residents and second homeowners in 2024.

Mayor Sera seemed to dismiss concerns of 2nd homeowners and seasonal residents.

Sera wants a 30 day rental minimum during the winter (November-March) in order to provide ‘peace’ for year-round residents. But what about seasonal residents? Second homeowners? What about their ‘peace’ during the summer months?

Second homeowners are the non-voting segment of Brigantine residents that make up 75% of Brigantine’s tax revenue.

Proposed Rental Minimum Night Stays:

April – October
• 1 and 2 bedroom – no minimum
• Owner occupied – no minimum
• 3+ bedrooms- 2 night minimum

November – March
• 1 and 2 bedroom – no minimum
• Owner occupied – no minimum
• 3+ bedrooms – 30 day minimum

Short-term rentals with 3+ bedrooms must have functioning noise meter on premises.

Any short-term rental property that receives 7 or more documented violations within any 6 month period will have their licenses immediately suspended for the next 6 months.

Taxes and Fees:

  1. 1% tax on rentals booked thru AirBnB.
  2. Graduated License Fee Schedule: $250 per bedroom.

Brigantine City Manager Tiger Platt, the city solicitor, public safety and the rest of City Council remained silent through-out the meeting.

Landlords admit they profit the most by promoting Bachelor / Bachelorette weekend parties. Fast, easy money.

Sera: The Brigantine Zoning Officer & the Brigantine Fire Official are not communicating with each other.

Jack Murray is the Brigantine Fire Official. His office manages rental registrations and property maintenance inspections. ‘Murray doesn’t attend council meetings but he clearly should’ said a resident attending the meeting. City Manager Tiger Platt, the former Brigantine Fire Chief, needs to step up as well.

The Brigantine Short Term Rental and Code Enforcement Departments are seriously under-staffed. Costs not yet budgeted for new employees within this STR dept. Platt has not started the interview process.

2024 rentals already booked will be protected (grandfathered) if rules change after Jan 1, 2024.

Renters may need to be at least 25 years of age.

Warning to absentee landlords: We don’t want Brigantine to be known as a party town.

A proposed 1% tax on ‘transient marketplaces’, just like like hotel motel taxes. The tax will only apply to those using online rental platforms like AirBnB. Tax will not be applied to privately transacted or real estate agent rentals.

What’s more important? Tourism or keeping Brigantine a family oriented town? Can Brigantine be both?

All taxpayers could be footing the bill for a new Short Term Rental Department.

The Sept. 6, 2023 Brigantine Council meeting will have public comment on proposed STR plans.

NOTE: Sera and Platt prohibit remote ZOOM commenting from 2nd homeowners. Seasonal residents will need to attend in person if they want to provide input and feedback.

Confusion and lack of accountability. Nobody inside City Hall knows how many rentals are operating on Brigantine Island. City Manager Platt has remained silent and removed from the process.

Recently formed ‘Brigantine Short-Term Rental Association’ wants to delay the SEPT 6 public hearing.

More than a decade of issues. How many problem STR properties are there? Unknown.

Is City Manager Tiger Platt hiring more employees? What’s taking so long? Neighboring Ventnor still struggling to find inspectors at $15 per hr.

Absentee STR landlords say these proposed changes are over-reach.

Brigantine residents shocked at number of local laws not being enforced. The toothless 2017 STR ordinance still not enforced or understood.

One resident warns Brigantine City Council about declining school enrollment. Now just 404 students in the Brigantine School System at a cost of $39,000 per student. Very expensive for taxpayers to fund where only 22% of Brigantine students are proficient in math.

Mayor Sera boasts that he doesn’t do things fast, he does things right. Sounds good on paper, but it’s really a warning. In other words, Sera says residents should expect the STR issue to face multiple delays. Residents should expect Summer 2024 to be more of the same in Brigantine.

Can Sera clean up years of STR mismanagement from previous Brigantine Mayors, Andy Simpson and Phil Guenther?

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8 thoughts on “Mayor Sera: Brigantine Mismanaging Short-Term Rentals”

  1. These type of rentals are no asset to our community. They pay to party at the rental property, go spend their money in AC, and for Brigantine they just cause havoc.

    Each new property is being built bigger than the one before it – all with absentee owners. How many are going to be new party houses?

  2. This rental epidemic has been going on for years and it ruined the shore experience for us. The renters and the classless owners who exploited their neighbors are to blame.

    We sold and left. Good riddance and good luck changing anything. You are reaping what your carelessness sowed.

  3. If Sera and Brigantine enforced laws already on the books for years, Brigantine would not be in this situation.

    How can this city elect people who have no vision or sense to have gotten ahead of this several years ago?

    The 30 day minimum in fall and winter months is ridiculous. It should be 5 or 7.

    7-day minimum for the larger homes in summer is essential and would be no problem as most families rent for seven (7) days.

    And Sera keeps talking about families loving Brigantine. Three (3) days is ludicrous in season and won’t deter party folks.

    STR owners have been nowhere over this year and now showing up at the council meetings? A bit late.

    Many STR owners feel punished for the handful of party house owners that have been “fully and knowingly allowed” to break the law.

    It’s disturbing the laws have been allowed to be broken without punity for years. Perhaps a majority of STR owners should have spoken up months ago about these few violators but “remained silent and absent”.

    Hopefully all can be amicably resolved in September.

  4. Residents of Brigantine keep voting these clowns in office. Then complain when they get crapped on. Stop sticking your hand in the fire, you won’t get burned.

  5. Brigantine Law n Order

    Mayor Sera and Platt vulnerable to class action lawsuit for allowing businesses to operate in neighborhood zoned as residential.

  6. Everyone needs to realize these mega mansions that are going up are creating thousands of “new” dollars a year in tax for the town. It’s why Platt got a $50k raise and why his new payroll numbers for next year are $4mm more than 2023. They aren’t going to do anything to compromise that revenue.

    The locals need to realize that the biggest driver for business is tourism or rentals. I agree there needs to be some rules around STR but can we also get the town to incentivize more restaurants or businesses like La Scala to come here? I would much rather spend my money in Brigantine than having to go to AC. Margate has tons of nice options yet they don’t compromise themselves like wildwood does.

    The town does nothing for major holidays, they never put on any festivals or events. People complain that they want a “family” vibe but what is anyone doing to make that happen?? There’s zero family type restaurants for dinner or activities?

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