LAKE COMO, NJ — In any given summer, Lake Como is a hot spot for seasonal renters, located just blocks from the Belmar beachfront and having six bars within walking distance.

But with such popular establishments as Bar Anticipation and D’Jais closed due to the current coronavirus crisis, it’s likely most of the partying will move to the nearly 40 summer rentals that are scattered among year-round homes on residential streets where parking is at a premium.

It’s a concern of borough officials and residents, who want to ensure renters know the “local law of the land” before they move in this upcoming Memorial Day weekend under the current state of emergency.

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In response, Mayor Kevin Higgins is calling on these seasonal residents to be responsible neighbors — and treat this small Jersey Shore town "as if it were your own" — in a letter that will be distributed with certificates of occupancy on Friday, May 22.

“With the global pandemic still among us, I ask that you follow social distancing guidelines when out and about in our community,” he wrote in the letter, which is posted on the borough website. "Please wear a mask when entering any business and try your best to keep a six-foot distance from others when in public."

Most importantly, Higgins details the borough’s residents-only permit parking system, and state regulations on social distancing and limits on gatherings. 

Under the parking plan, only vehicles with green Lake Como stickers will be permitted to park on borough streets during the public health emergency. Renters will be able to obtain those stickers, based on the number of persons included on the rental home’s certificate of occupancy (CO). Cars without the green sticker will be ticketed and possibly towed. Makeshift signs placed on car windows will not be allowed as a substitute for a sticker.

Gatherings of no more than 10 people are permitted in a home at any time, unless the CO allows for more occupants. No more than 25 people are allowed for outside gatherings. 

Summer residents also are reminded to abide by the state’s current stay-at-home order. That mean only leave the home for essential business, wearing a mask and gloves, if needed, and keeping a social distance of at least six feet at all times.

Violations of any of these orders, as well as Lake Como’s “animal house” ordinance, may result in a summons or possibly eviction, Higgins warned. 

“It is my hope that everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy summer,” he said. “I ask you, and all the residents of Lake Como to enjoy the borough and summer responsibly.”

Summer renters will receive their COs, letters and parking stickers on move-in day, Friday, May 22, according to Borough Clerk/Administrator Louise Mekosh.

In addition, the Belmar Police Department, which patrols Lake Como as well, will be shifting its focus on the residential streets in both communities during the evening and early-morning hours.

Residents are encouraged to call the Belmar Police at 9-1-1 with any issues at any time. Fines for quality-of-life offenses, including noise, disorderly conduct, and public drinking or urinating, range from $350 to $2,000 for each person involved.

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