VACo Opposes Bill Limiting Authority of Counties to Regulate Short-Term Rentals

February 10, 2022

HB 1362 (Wiley) would make operation of short rentals, which is defined as the “… provision of a room or space that is suitable or intended for occupancy for dwelling, sleeping, or lodging purposes, for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days, in exchange for a charge for the occupancy,” a by-right use unless a locality adopts an ordinance regulating the use.

The text of the relevant change to Virginia Code 15.2-983 is as follows: “If the governing body of any locality has not by ordinance, pursuant to its general land use and zoning authority, restricted the operation of short-term rentals, an operator may operate a short-term rental in the locality, subject to applicable law.”

2017 legislation provided localities with the ability to regulate short-term rentals on a local level.   This enabled localities to make decisions regulating their use in several ways including ordinances, adopting a registry and through special use permits.  This bill would effectively take away this land use authority.  The bill passed the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee’ Subcommittee #2 on a vote of 7-2, and will be heard by the full House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee on Friday February 11, 2022.

ACTION REQUIRED – Contact members of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee to vote “NO” on HB 1362.

KEY POINTS

  • VACo supports maintaining and expanding local authority to plan and regulate land use and opposes any legislation that weakens these key local responsibilities.
  • VACo opposes any legislation that limits or restricts local authority to regulate home-based businesses, including short-term rentals regardless of whether services or goods are purchased through an online hosting platform.

KEY CONTACTS

Counties, Cities and Towns Committee: Hodges (Chair), Morefield (Vice Chair), McNamara, LaRock, Wyatt, Avoli, Ballard, Cherry, Scott, P.A., Cordoza, March, Wachsmann, Mullin, Roem, Gooditis, Kory, Subramanyam, Jenkins, Williams Graves, Sewell, Bennett-Parker, Shin

VACo Contacts: Joe Lerch, AICP and Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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