The County of Warren in the Commonwealth of Virginia in August 2014 stopped all cabin and cottage short term rental permits in the middle of the process. Owners were told that a 6 month evaluation period is needed, and that there is no guarantee at the end of that period that we will receive the required Conditional Use Permit to operate as short term rentals.
Recently the Cease and Desist Letters sent to these property owners were rescinded. Vacation rentals or short term rental activity will, fortunately, be allowed in the interim. Six month and indefinite delays when it involves income producing property is not something a small business person can endure. This puts landlords under financial duress and at risk of foreclosure. In some cases, these shifting regulatory actions are forcing the sale of private property.
Points to Consider
Equal Protection under the law. Where cabin rentals are being allowed for some, is it constitutional to deny to others?
In the Virginia Supreme Court decision Scott vs. Walker, the judges found that unless expressly denied by neighborhood covenants, short term rentals are allowed.
Short term rentals are a residential use of a private property. In many jurisdictions they require no special permit.
Owners of homes in gated communities do not speak for the whole of Warren County.
Driving out investors is a bad idea for future growth and real estate values.
There is a growing trend for more tourists to choose family style lodging. Buck the trend and risk losing tourists.
Responsible landlords upgrade properties and are responsive to neighbors concerns.
Small businesses in town depend on tourism to survive this economy, and to thrive in any economy.
Those who elect to stay in domestic lodging accomodations are often wanting to get a sense of the community, and may choose to retire or move here.
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