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City Council Regular Meeting
Request for a Zoning Code Amendment to Permit Short-Term Rentals of an Entire Home
Kenneth C. Gillie, Jr.
Business Meeting: 07/02/2019
A request has been filed to amend Chapter 41 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the Code of the City of Danville, VA 1986, more specifically Article 2 entitled “General Regulations”, various sub-articles and sections of Article 3 entitled “Zoning Districts”, and Article 15 entitled “Definitions”, Section B entitled “Definitions”. The purpose is to allow for short-term rentals of an entire home within residential districts.
An application has been filed by Barry Davis seeking a Zoning Code Amendment to allow for short-term rentals of an entire home within residential districts. Mr. Davis has also submitted a Special Use Permit application for this use at 500 Plum Street. A similar amendment was approved on May 7 to permit homestays as home occupations.
Short-term rental is a term generally used to describe the use of a building to host visitors from out of town, typically no longer than a week or two. This use may occur in either a residential or commercial building. Across the country, short-term rentals have become an issue due to the prevalent use of online rental platforms which allow residential properties to be used for temporary lodging. This has allowed travelers to opt to stay in residential properties, similar to hotels and motels while traveling. As a result, short term rental uses typically now fall into one of five categories staff classifies as: (1) homestay, (2) whole home rental, (3) bed and breakfast, (4) hotel/motel, and (5) boarding house. The Zoning Ordinance currently addresses most of these uses, except for whole home rental.
When discussing short-term rental zoning regulations, the following issues should be considered: (1) taxation, (2) presence of a host, (3) enforcement, (4) registration, (5) terminology, (6) effect on housing and the neighborhood, and (7) relation to the Comprehensive Plan.
At their meeting on June 10, 2019, the Planning Commission voted 6-0 (Commissioner Jones was absent) to recommend approval of the request to the Zoning Code Amendment.
It is recommended that City Council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 41 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the Code of the City of Danville, VA 1986, more specifically Article 2 entitled “General Regulations”, various sub-articles and sections of Article 3 entitled “Zoning Districts”, and Article 15 entitled “Definitions”, Section B entitled “Definitions”. The recommended amendment includes zoning definitions, safety standards, and a short-term rental registry.
Planning Commission also recommended that City Council review the taxes and registration fees of short-term rentals, although no specific fees are suggested.
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