Bill to Rewrite Local Ordinance Regulating Airbnb Fails

February 14, 2019

SB 1701 (Ebbin) would have mandated that Fairfax County triple the number of nights per year (from 60 to 180) that residential dwellings be allowed “by right” to provide short-term rentals typically facilitated through online platforms such as Airbnb, FlipKey, and HomeAway. After passing the Senate, SB 1701 was defeated in House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee’s Subcommittee #2 on February 13 by a 5-3 vote.

Fairfax County adopted regulations in 2018 to allow such short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods where previously they were not allowed. Based on input from the community, including 11 public hearings and conduction of an online survey, the Board of Supervisors put in place reasonable restrictions, to address multiple stakeholder viewpoints.

VACo opposed the legislation as it would set an unwelcome precedent and have a chilling effect on the willingness of local elected bodies to accommodate short-term rentals in residential areas.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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