New proposed rules for short-term rentals in Virginia Beach

Posted at 9:33 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 23:10:29-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - New proposals from the Vice Mayor of the Resort City could change where short-term rentals and Airbnb are allowed.

The new proposed rules come a few weeks after Virginia Beach City Council put off voting on an another version of the rules for 60 days.

The new rules would create three overlay districts in Sandbridge, the Oceanfront and the North End. Homes there can have short-term rentals without special permitting. They are still required to follow standard rules for short-term rentals laid out by the city. Homes anywhere else in the city would require a conditional use permit.

"I think it would be a bad move for Virginia Beach," said Shawn Brown, who lives in the Lynnhaven neighborhood and rents a townhouse down the street from where he lives on Airbnb. He said his neighbors don't mind and he hasn't had any major problems.

Brown started renting on Airbnb about a year ago to offset the cost of buying a bigger home. His clients are typically people on business or families visiting the area. They prefer short-term rentals because they can go grocery shopping and cook instead of constantly getting takeout. He believes the majority of Airbnb and short-term rentals are like this. The wild parties are more of the exception rather than the rule.

"Come take a look and see how the majority of the time you wouldn't even know the Airbnb exists because it's inconspicuous, very much so," said Brown.

On the other side of the city in Baylake Pines, Larry Horvarth said his quaint neighborhood nestled off the Chesapeake Bay is being compromised.

"I don't want any here because it's like having a bunch of strangers living next to you all the time," said Horvarth. He spoke about one of the worst experiences he had with short-term rentals. "They were shooting fireworks at 3 a.m. and carrying on. There were piles of garbage by Monday morning - and it's not the kind of thing we want to see in our neighborhood."

That is why Horvarth likes the idea of a requiring a conditional use permit.

"I think that's an excellent thing because these are residential neighborhoods and these short-term rentals are businesses," said Horvarth.

City council put off the vote until May 15.


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