New rules adopted by the city of Asheville on Jan. 9 will severely limit where short-term vacation rentals are allowed. The decision came relatively swiftly and was not without debate over the best way to balance tourism with a need for housing.
Sweeping changes to Asheville’s zoning code could make it much harder for property owners to rent out whole units for periods of less than a month. City Council will vote on the restrictions on short-term vacation rentals at its Jan. 9 meeting.
Asheville took a big step down the road to limiting short-term rentals after the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of an amendment to the city’s zoning code on Jan. 3.
Looking back on 2017, Xpress highlights some of the hundreds of stories we covered in our print editions and online over the year.
“STRs should be crowded out of existence by affordable housing density, not regulated like a bureaucratic scapegoat.”
Asheville City Council continued its quest to crack down on whole-house and whole-unit short-term rentals at its Oct. 24 meeting, as it also approved a 70-room hotel project in the River Arts District and showed warm support for giving more staff time to the Energy Innovation Task Force.
“It has been an honor serving with Cecil Bothwell on Asheville City Council. I know that he will always fight for fairness and equality for our citizens.”
Discussions on whether and how Asheville should regulate short-term lodging in residential neighborhoods will return to City Council on Tuesday, April 25.
“Many people believe, as I do, that the majority of City Council members have been influenced by the hotel lobby — the elephant standing in the city’s living room.”
“Building ADUs to rent to tourists will ultimately increase the city’s long-term housing stock at no cost to taxpayers.”
“Deplorably, the writer supporting short-term rentals is ignorant about what the untold value of a good neighbor is, the immeasurable effect a close neighborhood has on one’s quality of life, and how short-term rentals contribute to anxiety, malaise and most likely to lowering home values in the area.”
“There must be other avenues City Council could consider that allow responsible property owners with STRs a much-needed income.”
“I believe that there is so much fear about noise and crowded streets filled with short-term renters’ cars, and it is unfounded.”
In December last year, City Council directed city staff to analyze the potential impact of expanding the city’s homestay program for short-term rentals to separate living units known as ADUs. Six months later, much more information is available, but little if any consensus has emerged from the process. On May 17, Council will vote on a measure to allow homestays in ADUs, but the outcome of that vote is up in the air, meaning that another long night of testimony on the issue seems inevitable.
“No one should have the right to open a hotel-like business in a family-zoned neighborhood unless a zoning variance is issued.”
“Asheville, I am greatly disappointed that you would allow this to happen.”
“It seems that legalization and good regulation is a much more reasonable approach to the situation than hiring a person to seek us out and impose hefty fines.”
“Knee-jerk legislation like the Airbnb ban in residential neighborhoods only helps the big hotel business and my Council should represent me, not Marriott.”