Big AirBnB Changes Coming to Albemarle County?

Alison Wrabel at the DP reports:

After three work sessions, the Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended to allow whole-house rental, where no owner is present, only in the rural area and for no more than seven days in a month and no more than 45 overnight stays per year.

Whole-house rental was not recommended for the development area.

The panel also backed allowing up to two guest rooms for homestays in townhouses and attached units with owner or manager present during rental.

Commissioners also endorsed requiring the owners of homestays that are rented without their presence maintain a log of the number of days rented each week, report monthly to the zoning administrator and provide neighboring residents local emergency contact information.

Interesting. This discussion has been ongoing for some time, but it’s interesting to see the differences defined between rural and development areas within Albemarle County. A lot of people in the County have AirBnBs … this might change some things for them.

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  1. JR Gentle April 26, 2018 at 15:14

    I dont have a house in the county, but I do rent my whole house in the city. It’s very strange that they limit the nights to 7 per month. In my experience, the people who rent whole houses are mostly here for weddings on the weekends and rent for at least two nights per booking. In fact, it is best to have at least a 2 night minimum for whole house bookings. I wonder did they make these decisions with input from actual home owners. 8 days per month would actually allow the home owner to market their property better and make money. Which is the whole point. In an area with a robust and growing wedding business, this does not sync with the other aspects of business in the area. The fact is that their is a lack of hotels outside of the city and these whole house rentals fill a definite need. It seems like the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

    1. michael guthrie April 26, 2018 at 15:27

      Even with 8 a month, unless I am incorrect, this limits an air b n b person to less than 6 months with the 45 night max.

      1. Jim Duncan April 27, 2018 at 08:11

        Seems to be a less-than-well-conceived policy, at least until there are hotels in the outer regions of the growth areas.

  2. Claire Fisher April 27, 2018 at 10:01

    These attacks on Airbnb are never ending! I feel like the hotels must be doing some hard lobbying with the planning commission (and beyond).

    1. Jim Duncan April 28, 2018 at 05:47


      I will take this opportunity to plug the forthcoming “how does local government work?” series because of this — I was talking to a friend about this, and the response was, “when did they do this?”

      My response was, “they’ve been working on this for a long time.” Only more recently, “After three work sessions …”


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