VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Those who rent out their homes using platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo across Virginia Beach will now have new safety rules to follow, and those who want to start operating a rental property at short term in the Oceanfront area now might have the chance.
On Tuesday evening, the Virginia Beach City Council voted 8-2 to allow homeowners in what’s known as the “Beachfront Resort District” to apply for a conditional use permit if they wish to begin operating. rent to people for less than 30 days.
Councilors Barbara Henley and Sabrina Wooten were the dissenting voices.
In a more divided 6-4 vote, they approved a series of new requirements for all current and future short-term rental operators, which include deck inspections in an attempt to avoid collapses. Two of these collapses occurred in Sandbridge last year.
These are just the latest actions in what has become a perennial and frustrating problem in the coastal community.
Many Virginia Beach owners rent their properties to vacationers – and have done so for years – but some neighbors have complained that the rise of digital platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo has led to parking nightmares, out-of-control parties that sometimes resulted in violence and a global disruption of traditional neighborhoods occupied by their owners.
In July, City Council banned all new short-term rentals outside Sandbridge, unless a majority of people in a specific neighborhood request short-term rentals in their community.
On Tuesday evening, City Councilor Guy Tower led the charge to change course at least in the resort area as he said people already knew they were buying in an area with hotels.
Nonetheless, each new individual tenancy should receive the approval of a majority of the city council.
More controversial with those who currently operate short-term rentals: the additional security requirements.
In the future, all short-term rentals will also need to have a structural safety inspection report every three years, with the maximum terrace occupancy displayed in the rental.
Anyone operating a vacation rental without a professional management company will need to go through an annual city zoning inspection to look for at least one fire extinguisher, working smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Rentals professionally managed by a certified company would be inspected every three years.
However, what has really irritated some is that apart from the rental the landlord must now post a four square foot sign stating that the property is short term rental and have the hotline contact number. short term rental in town.
“Why oh why are you even considering this?” Kendall Maynard, of the Virginia Beach Short-Term Rental Alliance, told the council. “Maybe I should just put up a flashing ‘Come and rob me’ neon sign.”
Others have called it all “another government excess”.
“This is my home and with my home comes certain constitutional rights,” said Brandon Beavers, who also owns Oceanfront Rentals. “So if the city wants to encroach on those with the zoning, I think a judge will decide somehow good bad and different.”
Those who violate city regulations could have their CUP “grandfather” status revoked. Those who do not operate “legally” face a fine of up to $ 200 for the first offense and $ 500 for any additional offense.
Mayor Bobby Dyer, council members John Moss, Aaron Rouse and Sabrina Wooten voted against the new requirements for all current and future short-term rental operators.
Dyer commented that the problem was giving him “heartburn”.