Photo Credit: American Heavyweight boxer, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali, 1942 - 2016), relaxing in his London hotel room with friends, Brenda Howell, Norma Lindo, Kathleen O'Flaherty and Hallie Hemmings, 18th June 1963. Later in the day, Clay is due to fight a match against Henry Cooper of Britain. (Photo by Tony Gibson/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Wild Parties At Muhammad Ali's Mansion Cause South Jersey Town To Ban Airbnbs
Some residents in New Jersey’s Cherry Township have had enough of the “wild parties” and “disruptions” at a home once owned by boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
And it appears that county leaders are on their side after the Cherry Hill Township Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban Airbnb and other short-term rentals within the township beginning Nov. 1.
Officials told local reporters with the Inquirer that ban is needed because Airbnbs and similar businesses are “changing the character of neighborhoods.”
If approved, the ban would prohibit the rental of a home, or portion of it, for fewer than 30 consecutive days.
“We’re trying to protect the integrity of the residential zone,” said Erin Gill, Mayor Chuck Cahn’s chief of staff. “Thirty-one days isn’t a long period of time, but it’s long enough that you’ll get people who hopefully […] have more of an investment into staying there, taking care of the home, and respecting the neighbors.”
The former boxer’s mansion became an Airbnb in 2018 and was advertised as the “greatest stay.”
The 6,000-square-feet home, located on Winding Drive, could hold up to 12 guests across five-bedrooms and included access to a gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and basketball court. Those interested could rent it for $1,250 per night.
Since the home appeared on Airbnb, it has become a hub for large parties and events. Police have visited the home more than 90 times in the past two years, the mayor’s office said, and loud music and traffic issues have made the mansion the greatest annoyance for residents.
“Our concern is to protect the residents of Cherry Hill,” said Councilwoman Carolyn Jacobs. “And in the case of Winding Drive, our residents are not being protected.”
But not everyone in the town is in favor of the Council’s decision. Some residents said that the whole town is being punished for an “anomaly home” and that a ban could make it hard for residents to stay in the neighborhood, as reported in the Inquirer.
“There should be other ordinances that can stop these party homes,” one resident stated. “To stop someone like me, a 70-year-old woman, that wants to convert a bedroom so that I can pay these taxes and age in my home, it’s outrageous.”
There will be a second reading of the ordinance on Sept. 23. If the measure passes, it will go into effect on Nov. 1.