Virginia Beach City Council awaits Airbnb recommendations

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Virginia Beach weighs Airbnb regulation

Rentals listed on Airbnb in Virginia Beach from July 29 to July 31, 2016. (Photo Courtesy of Airbnb.com)

The Virginia Beach City Council awaits recommendations that will directly impact local rental home owners, particularly those in the Airbnb community.

Under a new ordinance, home owners are already required to register their rental homes and pay transient occupancy taxes to the city. But many community members believe statewide legislation is the most effective method of regulation — an approach already enforced in many cities worldwide.   

As such, a city-appointed ad hoc committee is in the process of considering additional policies to pursue at the state level, and is expected to share its recommendations during an upcoming city council meeting on Nov. 1, 2016.

Originally scheduled to deliver its recommendations on Tuesday Oct. 18, the committee postponed its report due to some scheduling conflicts and the volume of feedback received from the surrounding community.

“The committee wanted to give themselves a little more time to consider the recommendations,” said Bob Matthias, assistant to City Manager Dave Hansen. “They had four meetings, accepted public comments and offered a virtual city hall.”  

During the virtual city hall and public hearing opportunities, more than 293 Virginia Beach residents expressed their opinions on the rental home community. Some shared concerns about the accountability of Airbnb rental home owners, citing zoning ramifications and lack of business permits or safety inspections. Others praised Airbnb rentals as benefits to the tourism industry and unique alternatives to traditional overnight accommodations.

After receiving the committee’s recommendations, the city council will take up the matter on Nov. 5. The city’s top home rental concerns will be brought to the general assembly in January 2017.

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