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October 16, 2018

County seeks to regulate short-term home rentals

Airbnb map shows the location of some of its short-term rentals in Fauquier County.
Fauquier County currently has approximately 117 unpermitted short-term rental properties listed on a variety of websites including Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey, to name a few.
— County zoning staff report
Public Hearing
• Topic: Proposed zoning ordinance text amendments related to the by-right regulation of short-term rental properties.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Next: The board of supervisors, which will take final action on the application, could hold a Nov. 8 work session and public hearing on the proposed changes.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier County officials hope to get a handle on the short-term residential rental market.

The county planning commission Thursday night will conduct a public hearing on proposed zoning ordinance changes that would allow short-term rentals by-right.

The commission meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

> Documents at bottom of story

The county has received complaints about “strange” vehicles regularly entering and leaving neighborhoods, county Zoning Chief Rob Walton said.

Regulation would enable the county staff to track short-term rentals and inform residents, when asked, that they operate with local government approval, Mr. Walton explained.

“Fauquier County currently has approximately 117 unpermitted short-term rental properties listed on a variety of websites including Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey, to name a few,” according to his staff report, which used data from Host Compliance — a company that among other things monitors short-term rental conformance.

Under the proposed amendments, property owners would be allowed by-right a maximum two people per approved bedroom within their primary residences; the ordinance already limits the number of people who can occupy an accessory dwelling to three. That cap would apply to such units used as short-term rentals.

The proposal places no limit on the number of days per year a primary residence could be rented — provided the owner and/or property managers occupies the property during rental periods.

Renting properties without that supervision would require special permit approval.

To qualify as primary residences, owners must live there at least 183 days per year.

Individuals can’t rent rooms for more than 29 consecutive days, according to the proposal.

Structures used for short-term rentals also must meet safety, parking and road standards.

The proposal states that property owners “shall register the rental use annually with the Commissioner of the Revenue and promptly pay any applicable rental use taxes assessed.” Fauquier collects a lodging tax based on 2 percent of the gross revenue generated by a room.

The community development staff has recommended approval of the proposed amendments.

In September 2017, the board of supervisors conducted a work session on short-term rentals. A month later, it initiated the text amendment process that led to the proposed changes.

The commission in April conducted and left open a public hearing on proposed zoning ordinance amendments to govern short-term rentals.

The commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which have final authority.

If it acts on the application Thursday, the supervisors could hold a work session and public hearing at their Nov. 8 meeting.

Short-term Rentals Ordinanc... by on Scribd

Member comments
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To comment, please log in or register. · October 24, 2018 at 10:07 am
I don't understand the 29 day rule. What if you wanted to rent your property for 3 months while you were away in another state.
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