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Council tackles job of regulating short-term rentals

by Tom Chillemi

“AirBnB” and other online services have revolutionized short-term lodging services that connect travelers with those who want to rent space in their residences or rent their entire residence.

For example, a group could rent a waterfront house for a vacation stay. This has the potential to put income-producing property in residential neighborhoods.

The Urbanna Town Council is facing issues with short-term rentals of rooms and houses, which need a special use permit (SUP) to operate in residential districts.

During council’s August 9 work session, council directed town attorney Andy Bury, town administrator Holly Gailey and town zoning administrator John Gill to develop, for council’s review, a draft ordinance for short-term rentals.

Through AirBnB, residences become income-producing property. “Are they considered a business? Do we require them to have a business license?” asked Gailey during a December 7, 2017 work session meeting of town council. “They are operating a business in a residential zone that is not zoned for business.”

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 08.16.2018

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