The proposed ordinance on “short term rentals” is on the agenda for the Tuesday, May 2 Greensboro City Council meeting in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The first meeting of the month is usually reserved for the monthly public comment period, also called speakers from the floor on non-agenda items, when people can speak on the topic of their choosing, resolutions and non-controversial items.

It is rare to have a controversial topic such as the short term rental ordinance, which will regulate Airbnb and VBRO type rentals, on the agenda for the first meeting of the month.

The current Greensboro Land Development Ordinance does not define short term rentals and they are currently being regulated under the Tourist Home/Bed and Breakfast category, which was not designed to address the Airbnb and VRBO type rentals.

The proposed ordinance defines short term rentals and divides them into two categories: Homestay Short Term Rentals, which involve renting a portion of a residential property that is the primary residence of the host who must be on-site during the rental, and Whole House Short Term Rentals, which involve renting an entire residence for a minimum of two nights.

According to the proposed ordinance, short term rentals will only be allowed in residential dwelling units and a zoning permit will be required. A special use permit will no longer be required for a short term rental unit.

The regulations that will apply to short term rental units include a maximum of two adults per rented bedroom, no publicly announced or promoted events that involve more than two times the number of guests, no exterior signage advertising short term rentals, and that hosts of whole house short term rentals must live in Guilford County or a directly adjacent county. The hosts must post their contact information in a prominent location in the rental space and be readily accessible throughout the rental period.

The application process for short term rentals has not been developed, but if the ordinance passes, it will be developed and posted on the city website.

It’s estimated that there are currently more than 600 short term rental units being advertised in Greensboro, but because short term rentals are not required to have a special zoning permit the City of Greensboro doesn’t have the means to identify all the short term rentals in the city.