VIRGINIA BEACH – Sandbridge resident Dave Watson hopes to change the city’s mind about allowing short-term rentals of oceanfront homes for parties and events.
Watson created an online petition in March opposing short-term rentals of single-family homes in the city, specifically for hosting events and parties. He plans to gather other opponents to attend public meetings this month about proposed regulations.
“Please sign this petition to help stop this type of commercial activity in Virginia Beach’s residential neighborhoods,” reads the petition, which had 489 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon.
A city-appointed commission in June released a draft of proposed new guidelines for short-term rentals and is holding public meetings this month to gather feedback before the ordinance goes to the City Council later this summer. The ordinance would place new restrictions on the rentals, such limiting the numbers of event functions to two a year per home, requiring renters to obtain city permits and capping event attendees at 100.
Watson said the new ordinance will not improve problems with trash, illegal parking and noise. Those issues persist even though they are addressed by current city code, he said.
“And they just aren’t being enforced,” he said. “What this thing does – it goes above and beyond the ordinance that’s already there, and it’s going to allow the events to take place.”
Watson said he is trying to rally opponents of event rentals to attend the public meetings.