Virginia Beach City Council once again takes up short term rental regulations

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Posted at 4:23 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 17:29:09-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In what's become a controversial issue, city council members are once again taking up regulations for short term rentals.

Among the new proposals: Requiring home owners to post a sign with their contact info on the rental property and requiring owners to be able to physically respond to their home within an hour if there's a problem.

"Instead of putting additional rules on the folks who are doing the right thing, let's instead put the burden on the folks and shut down the folks who are not doing the right thing," said Brandon Beavers, who has been renting out a home near the Oceanfront since 2015.

Beavers is part of the Virginia Beach Short Term Retail Alliance. The group is opposed to adding additional regulations to short term rentals. Beavers uses the site VRBO to rent out his property, says he screens who stays at his house and says he's grandfathered in and follows existing city regulations.

"We don't want parties. We got neighbors on the left, neighbors on the right. They live here," said said. "What we're doing here shouldn't be impacting those folks who live around us."

Still, others believe the additional regulations would help ensure safety. John David, the President of the North Virginia Beach Civic League, thinks the city needs more people to inspect the homes.

"You are waiting for a tragedy where people die and then people will wake up and realize that we should've been doing life safety inspections," said David.

City council members are meeting to continue to discuss the proposed changes on Tuesday night. There will be a public hearing on June 8, and a vote is scheduled for June 22.

Another proposal would allow short term rentals to happen only in certain parts of the city, called overlay districts. The three areas are the North End, the Resort Area and East Shore Drive. There's discussion whether the city would continue to require conditional use permits in those areas or allow rentals to happen if homes meet zoning requirements.

The North Virginia Beach Civic League is opposed to putting the North End into an overlay district and wants STRs to need permits and detailed plans for things like parking.

"STRs are a scourge on residential neighborhoods. We're not a commercial neighborhood. We're residential, where people live and have families," said David.

As discussions continue, many are waiting to see the latest regulations the city will adopt.

"If somebody wants to rent out a room in their house, they should be able to do it. It's their house," said Beavers.