Virginia Beach City Council Again Postpones Vote on New Airbnb Rules

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (WAVY) – It’s become cliché but true, there is nothing short of short term rentals.

Early Wednesday morning, the Virginia Beach city council voted unanimously to table the majority of its latest proposal to regulate homeowners who rent their properties for less than 30 days using platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. This is the second time in a month that they have postponed a decision.

A working session in June aimed to bring together council members around a plan. However, after two hours of public comment on Tuesday, it was clear that the middle ground was far from there.

In a tourist town like Virginia Beach, many landlords have been renting out their properties to vacationers for years. However, homeowners in coastal communities and not interested in renting have complained that the constant flow of strangers coming and going is not only disruptive but dangerous.

The new rules were offered for the first time last September with the aim of allowing Short Term Rentals (STRs) to operate in areas where vacation rentals have traditionally operated without City Council approval. Often, board meetings went on late into the night – even the next day on one occasion – as the rules require any landlord seeking to operate a short-term rental outside of Sandbridge to gain approval by which one. calls for a conditional use permit (CUP).

What ended up being in the ordinance considered by city council would keep in place the requirement for council to approve each STR request and additional rules for the city to enforce.

Anyone looking to start operating an STR would only be allowed to do so if they own property in Sandbridge or within specific boundaries on the oceanfront or north end. The boundaries are called “stacked” districts.

Many have called the inequitable process and said he punished responsible rental owners who did not try to circumvent the law and operate illegally.

Several members of the city council accepted.

“I was definitely hoping we were going to have something I could vote for,” Councilor Barbara Henley said. “We treated people differently. We turn one down and approve of another on the same street because “this guy looks like he’s doing a good job.”

City council ultimately voted to ditch their automatic overlays plan altogether before tabling everything else.

Instead, some have shown support for demanding that 75% of neighbors ask city council for overlays before they are granted.

The question will be resumed on July 13.

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