Short-Term Residential Rentals Work Plan and Ordinance Development
In 2017, the General Assembly passed SB 1578 and added a new section, 15.2-983, to the Code of Virginia Opens a New Window. , which authorizes localities to adopt an ordinance to establish a short-term residential rental registry requiring the registration of operators offering short-term rentals of spaces in residential properties within the locality.
Subsequently, the county launched a workgroup and created a Short-Term Residential Rental Work Plan. Opens a New Window.
Information about the registration process and the ordinance development may be found in this Short-Term Residential Registration Fact Sheet Opens a New Window. that you may download or print.
- In 2018, the Board of Supervisors adopted a short-term residential rental registration ordinance effective July 2018. Since then, county staff have been collecting information about the short-term residential rental market and developing draft zoning and land use policies related to short-term residential rentals for the Board of Supervisors to consider.
- The ordinance is intended to help the county monitor and evaluate the growing industry of short-term residential rentals. The registry established by the ordinance creates a channel for the county to provide operators of short-term residential rentals with important business-related information and resources. This would include information about necessary permits, applicable fire regulations and the Transient Occupancy Tax, which generally applies to establishments that offer temporary lodging for four or more people at one time.
The following staff reports, included in items prepared for Board of Supervisors meetings, detail the process of the initiative.
- May 1, 2018 Business Meeting Action Item 5: Adoption of a New Chapter to the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County - Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Ordinance-Includes Text of Ordinance Opens a New Window.
- April 11, 2018 Public Hearing Staff Report: Adoption of a New Chapter to the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County - Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Ordinance Opens a New Window.
- February 22, 2018, Business Meeting Action Item #5: Short-Term Residential Rentals Update-Registration and Taxation Opens a New Window.
- October 19, 2017, Business Meeting Action Item #2: Short-Term Residential Rentals Opens a New Window.
Public Outreach in Phase I
A key component of the initiative is community outreach. During Phase I, the county conducted a survey to gather opinions and comments from the public about short-term residential rentals.
Prior to adopting the ordinance in 2018, the Board of Supervisors sought and considered input from a broad range of stakeholders. These public input opportunities included:
- Four industry-specific focus groups
- A countywide online survey
- A Board of Supervisors Public Hearing
Following the adoption of the registration ordinance, the county began evaluating public safety and land use/zoning issues associated with short-term residential rentals. County staff will provide findings and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in 2019.
Does the current zoning ordinance permit short-term residential rentals?
Loudoun County’s zoning ordinance does not currently allow for short-term residential rentals. However the Zoning Administrator has placed a hold on some enforcement actions until the county develops and adopts policies applicable to short-term residential rentals. This allows people to operate short-term residential rentals now; however, operators should stay informed about the county’s activities throughout 2019 related to this industry.
What could the county’s future short-term residential rental policies looks like?
Specific policies are yet to be determined by the Board of Supervisors. Some policies could include requiring a zoning permit to operate a short-term residential rental, limitations on other commercial uses (like parties or special events), limitations on food and beverage service, requirements or standards for owner-occupancy or off-site management, and/or the number of units per operator or rooms available in a home. The Board of Supervisors is likely to consider a Resolution of Intent to Amend the Zoning Ordinance during the first quarter of 2019.
What happens after the Board adopts the resolution of intent to amend the zoning ordinance?
The public process allows for members of the community, including short-term residential rental operators, to provide input to the Board of Supervisors prior to its adoption of ordinance changes. The process includes:
- The county receives public comment, community input, and referrals from other agencies and advisory bodies;
- The Planning Commission holds a public hearing and possible work sessions;
- The Planning Commission makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors;
- The Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing and possible committee meetings; and
- The Board of Supervisors considers the amendment at a business meeting.
What sort of outreach is being conducted for phase II?
The county makes every effort to raise awareness about topics like these through its regular communication channels, which include a news release, social media, text alerts, and county website. Outreach for this initiative includes:
- Second countywide survey (completed)
- Informational open houses with Visit Loudoun (held June 5 and 13, 2019)
- Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on the Resolution of Intent to Amend the Zoning Ordinance (planned)