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Jersey City’s police and fire unions endorse effort to preserve Airbnb regulations

A trio of police and fire unions are joining the fight over the future of the short-term rental industry in Jersey City, endorsing a campaign to preserve new regulations on Airbnb and companies like it.

Mayor Steve Fulop will announce Thursday morning the Jersey City Fire Officers Association, the Uniformed Fire Fighters Association of Jersey City, and the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association are endorsing the effort to vote yes on Municipal Question 1 next month.

The public fight over Airbnb regulations ignited when the city passed an ordinance in June establishing an annual 60-day cap on short-term rental properties if the owner is not on site. It also prohibits Airbnb and other short-term rentals in buildings with more than four units and phases out existing short-term rental contracts by Jan. 1, 2021.

“It can save lives when residents know their neighbors in a dangerous high-rise fire and other emergencies,” JCFOA President Peter Nowak said in a joint statement with UFFAJC President Joseph Krajnik.

“In a fire, every second counts, and having knowledgeable neighbors who know how many occupants live in a residence and if someone is trapped or in need of rescuing helps with our mission in saving lives.”

Robert Kearns, the president of Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association, said the regulation on short term rentals is a common-sense approach toward safety and quality of life for residents.

“Many residents have expressed valid concerns on how we can regulate Airbnb rentals so they do not create an attractive nuisance for criminals who attempt to secret their crimes, or how we can prevent an “animal house” environment often resulting in loud and excessive noise complaints from late night parties.”

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