The following is reader-submitted content.
“I believe it is too late for the town of CC but at least other towns are trying to control the STR problem. The town council over the last 10 years has really screwed the full-time residents and focused only on the businesses by pushing rental properties. Funny how it seems to be 95% of the business owners do not live in CC but have more influence over the council than the full-time residents. I believe the STR properties will be the cause of the next real-estate crash. It seems to be already happening…too much inventory (STR) and not enough tourons.” – reader submitted comment.
As the Cape Charles continues with a lais·sez-faire approach for short-term rentals, other towns are taking the opposite tact. The Town of Wachapreague has moved to limit short-term rentals. The full ordinance is published below:
Short-term rental (STR) means a lodging use, that is not a hotel or motel or bed and
breakfast, in which a dwelling unit, or portion thereof, that is offered or provided to a
guest by a short-term rental operator for a fee and for fewer than thirty consecutive
- Short-term rentals are allowed in commercial neighborhood districts. Short-term
rentals are prohibited in residential districts. A total of five (5) short-term rentals will
be allowed. This number may be increased/decreased as needed by the Planning
Commission and Town Council.
o Accessory structures shall not be used or occupied as short-term rentals.
o Properties will allow no more than two guests per bedroom and no more than
four persons for each full bathroom. Families with children under the age of 18
are not limited to the number of guests allowed.
o The property must provide off-street parking for one vehicle for every two
guests. Provisions will be made to park boats and trailers elsewhere on the
property and not on public streets.
o The property owner must provide local contact information for a responsible
party who will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to,
and resolve issues and complaints that arise during a period in which the
dwelling is being used as a short-term rental. This contact information will be
made available to all adjoining property owners and will be posted in the
short-term rental property.
o The short-term rental shall comply with all applicable town, county, state and
federal statutes, regulations, and ordinances.
- Every short-term rental must obtain a business license.
o The business license will be revoked if three or more substantiated complaints
are received by the town, or failure to maintain compliance with any of the
regulations set forth herein.
- Every short-term rental is required to submit transient occupancy tax (TOT). If any
short-term rental is idle for 12 consecutive months or does not submit TOT as
defined, the business license is automatically rescinded, and the owner must reapply
using the process in place at the time of the reapplication.
- To the extent permitted by state law, each short-term rental must maintain
registration with the Commissioner of Revenue’s office and pay all applicable taxes.
- The owner of the property must annually provide the town with proof of insurance for
property damage and liability in an amount no less than the full replacement value of
the structure as it exists at the time of application and an amount of liability coverage
no less than $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $2,000,000.00 in aggregate.
- The property owner shall provide annual documentation to the town Zoning
Administrator that the dwelling meets all applicable building code requirements for
smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire suppression.
- The town reserves the right to inspect the residence based on complaints to verify
that the short-term rental is being operated in accordance with the regulations set
forth within this section.