Dingman considers allowing temporary one-room rentals

Resident proposes Airbnb-type rental with homeowner on site


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Jonathan Weigold made his pitch to Dingman supervisors (Photo by Anya Tikka)


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“It’s a beautiful area, with waterfalls and forests. I’m interested in renting just a room, not the entire house."
Jonathan Weigold

By Anya Tikka

— Jonathan Weigold wants to rent a room in his house on a temporary basis. But it's against Dingman Township regulations, so he asked supervisors for a special permit.

“I live in Christian Hill," he said. "It’s a beautiful area, with waterfalls and forests. I’m interested in renting just a room, not the entire house. But I gather there are already stipulations against renting an entire house for the zone I’m in, R1.”

He said he understood, and "completely agrees with" the reasons for he rules, including fears that the rented property will become a weekend party house, causing parking problems and other nuisances for neighbors.

Weigold stressed he’s only interested in renting a single room in his house while he's staying in it. It's a "one-bed romantic weekend sort of idea," he said. “I would always be present in the house."

Supervisors Chair Tom Mincer it's the first time something like this has been brought up to the board.

"In the past, it’s been renting for year-'round," he said.

Weigold, smiling, explained he’s not a party person at all.

“How would you advertise for it?” asked supervisor Dennis Brink.

Weigold said he’d put an ad on Airbnb or VRBO, or other websites designed for this purpose.

“It seems an opportunity because it’s such a beautiful spot,” he said. “There’s an in ground pool, and again, the waterfalls.”

Code enforcement officer Chris Wood said the ordinance was designed for single-house use, when the owner would not be near the premises.

“Obviously, it’s different if the owner is there all the time," Wood said. “It’s questionable if it would be used as bed and breakfast, but if you’re not serving food, it’s almost a new use.”

Planning board to take a lookMincer said when ordinances are put together, they go the planning board. A use that's not bed and breakfast, and not temporary rental, might be accommodated, he said.

“Let’s let the planning board take a look at that to see if there’s room to put that in any of the ordinances,” he said.

Mincer asked Weigold to explain his idea before the planning board.

An ordinance prohibiting temporary whole-house rentals was put in place June 2015, under Transient Residential Use, to prevent problems with parties, overcrowding, noise, and other community regulations.

At that time, Mincer said, “We have B&B’s in the township. They pay taxes and have to go through zoning applications. They have to be in a specific, commercial zone.”

Supervisor Dennis Brink said occupancy was an issue when a temporary rental with an absentee landlord could bring in 10 to 12 people for a weekend.



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