Ad Hoc Committee’s Balancing Act in the Quest for STR Regulation.
Town Council and Planning Commission to hold Joint Work Session to review STR recommendations.
November 2, 2023, Cape Charles Civic Center. Immediately following the Special Meeting.
Earlier this year, the Town established an ad-hoc committee to review the effect that Short-Term Rentals were having. Over the past five months, this ad hoc committee has been exploring short-term rentals (STRs) and the impact they have on the community.
The committee, composed of six members, was formed with a singular purpose: to investigate STR-related issues and provide invaluable insights to the Town Council and Planning Commission. While the group possessed no formal authority, its role as a working group is pivotal in fostering discussions that represented various perspectives.
The committee’s membership was made up of the following:
- A representative from the Town Council/Planning Commission, a voice of governance.
- The Cape Charles Historic District Civic League, the guardians of heritage and history.
- The Cape Charles Vacation Homeowners Association, reflecting the interests of property owners.
- The Bay Creek Community Association, advocates for residents in the coastal community.
- The Town Zoning Administrator, providing expertise on regulatory matters.
- The Town Manager, overseeing the town’s administration and operations.
The goal: “How does Cape Charles best protect and preserve the town’s sense of community, while recognizing the existing proliferation of STRs and their associated economic benefits?”
Preserving the Essence of a Community
The rationale behind their contemplation of STR regulation was twofold. First, it arose from a genuine desire to safeguard the character of residential neighborhoods. Second, it was rooted in a pragmatic concern – the stress on the town’s infrastructure.
The town can only support a finite number of residents and visitors before the saturation of public infrastructure became a pressing concern. Addressing this issue proactively was deemed essential, ensuring that the town continued to flourish while preserving its unique character.
The committee recognized that striking a balance between economic needs and practical concerns was essential. There was a unanimous resolve not to detract from the interests of those already invested in STRs while also ensuring that STRs did not impose unnecessary burdens on town residents.
The attached list of recommendations is listed below: