Virginia Beach to hold public hearings on ‘event houses’

Posted at 1:50 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 18:57:58-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Beaches and Waterways Advisory Commission will be holding a series of public meetings next week to get input about the issue of “event houses” in Virginia Beach.

“Event houses” are rental homes in residential areas which are sometimes used to hold social events and functions with large crowds, such as a wedding reception.

They can be found in several of the city's beach communities, but the majority are in Sandbridge.

Some who live in the area have raised concerns about them, citing a lot of noise, parking problems and excess trash when the events are held.

"I cannot imagine any person that lives in a neighborhood in Virginia Beach wanting to have this next door," said Catherine Miller, who has lived in Sandbridge since 2008.

Miller says she's not opposed to having the homes rented out to families but wants to see an end to large parties.

Bob Walker, who has lived in the Sandbridge area for six years, says he doesn't have an issue with them.

"People would have you believe that Sandbridge beach is party central, which it's not," Walker said.  "I'm never inconvenienced by parking, trash or noise and the rest of it is just normal vacationing."

Virginia Beach City Council directed the Beaches and Waterways Advisory Commission to start looking into the issue back in April.

"What we have to do is regulate them so they don't impact the community," said Tom Fraim, the commission's chairman.

They have come up with a draft ordinance that would regulate things like how many people would be allowed in the homes and how often large events could be held.

The commission will now gather input from the public and provide recommendations for regulation to City Council by mid-August.

There are five public hearings scheduled:

  • Monday, July 18 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Virginia Aquarium Owls Creek Marsh Pavilion
  • Tuesday, July 19 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront York Room
  • Wednesday, July 20 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center Sunset
  • Thursday, July 21 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library Auditorium
  • Friday, July 22 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Sandbridge United Methodist Church