The Greensboro Planning and Zoning Commission, at the end of a public hearing of over three and a half hours long, voted unanimously in support of the proposed ordinance regulating short term rentals.
The vote was for a favorable recommendation to the City Council of the proposed ordinance as written. The Zoning Commission could have voted for an unfavorable recommendation or suggested changes to the proposed ordinance to regulate short term rentals, such as those through Airbnb and VRBO.
Greensboro currently has no ordinance that deals specifically with Airbnb- and VRBO-type rentals. The ordinance currently being used is for tourist homes and bed and breakfast type establishments.
Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Sandra O’Connor kept the meeting moving along despite constant issues with speakers who tried to participate via Zoom, and unlike some public hearings held in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber, the speakers were respectful of each other and of the time limit.
Speakers included both short term rental operators, who were generally in favor of the proposed ordinance, and residents, who were generally opposed to having whole house short term rentals in their neighborhoods.
Michael Pendergraft said, “Whole house rentals do not belong in single-family zoning for the reason that they are not a single-family use.” This same belief was expressed by many of those opposed to the proposed ordinance.
David Wharton, the president of the Dunleath Neighborhood Association, said that the neighborhood board of directors had voted unanimously to oppose the proposed ordinance. He said, “We are afraid that short term rentals will overrun our neighborhood.”
Wharton also noted that other cities had passed more restrictive ordinances regulating short term rentals and Greensboro should do the same.
Wharton and other speakers opposing the proposed ordinance also noted the paucity of neighborhood representatives on the stakeholders committee formed to provide input on the proposed ordinance.
Zoning Commissioner Zac Engle, in speaking in favor of the proposed ordinance, said, “I think it’s a good framework.”
Zoning Commissioner Richard Bryson said that the proposed ordinance wasn’t written in stone. He said, “If we’ve got to make tweaks to it, we can make tweaks to it.”
Zoning Commissioner Catherine Magid spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance but added, “I know there are some conditions to this that I would like to see added.”
The Greensboro City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, March 21.