Room for Sharing: A Discussion of Local Homestay and Short-tem Rental Regulations

APA Virginia Chapter


Tuesday, July 18, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. EDT

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Recently, short-term residential rental services in the on-line marketplace, such as Airbnb, Craigslist, VRBO and other similar services, have become more prevalent throughout the United States and internationally. This session will explore evolving local zoning regulations as they pertain to short-term rentals, homestays, and other related land-uses. Planning, zoning, code enforcement and economic development staff from the City of Roanoke and Arlington County will share their experiences in working with applicants and concerned neighborhood advocates on this topic. Presenters will discuss code administration and enforcement strategies, the civic engagement process for development of regulations, share perspectives from the development and hospitality community, and lessons learned.

The City of Roanoke had its first request to consider approval of an Airbnb in March of 2014. In July of 2015, the City adopted a homestay use to better classify the growing desire by City residents to offer their homes to guests as part of the ‘sharing economy’. To date, the City has processed 15 applications to operate an Airbnb in the City with mixed results and public opinion. Roughly 50% of applications have been approved.

Arlington County adopted Zoning Ordinance provisions to define and regulate short-term rental of residential dwelling units in December, 2016, in response to both a growing interest for this use in the County and to recent actions of the Virginia General Assembly, which would have limited local governments’ ability to regulate short-term rental. The adopted standards allow residents to rent out his/her dwelling for lodging purposes on a short-term basis, with primary residency requirements to protect the character of residential neighborhoods where this type of use occurs; requirements to ensure that basic health and safety measures are in place, and limitations to regulate and limit the use in a manner consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. To date, the County has processed 45 applications.

As SB1578 of the 2017 Legislative Session gains traction, both jurisdictions will continue to monitor and review any legislative action as it relates to adopted programs for regulating short-term rentals and homestays. This session will focus on balancing the community’s interests in accommodating home sharing while protecting neighborhood character by minimizing enforcement challenges.


Barry Stacy

Confirmed Speaker

Bio to follow

Arlova Vonhm, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Arlova J. Vonhm, AICP is the Zoning Administrator for Arlington County, VA. As the Zoning Division Chief in the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Arlova leads a 30-member team responsible for interpreting, enforcing, and administering the Zoning Ordinance. Prior to joining Arlington County, Arlova worked as ... Read More

Jillian Moore, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Jillian Papa Moore, AICP, CZA, is Roanoke’s Zoning Administrator, a position she has held since 2014. As Zoning Administrator, Jillian is responsible for interpreting and administering the zoning code and oversees the operation of the City’s Permit Center. Jillian served previously as the Preservation Planner for Roanoke and ... Read More

Emily Cassell

Confirmed Speaker

Emily is Director of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service, a division within Arlington Economic Development and the official destination marketing organization for Arlington County. In this role since 2006, Emily has been responsible for all tourism-related marketing and public relations; meeting and convention sales; and visitor and convention services ... Read More

Deborah Albert, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Deborah Albert, AICP, manages the One-Stop Arlington Program, in Arlington County, VA. One-Stop Arlington is an enterprise-wide initiative to develop and implement an online permitting system, and to transform the County’s building and land development and permitting business processes. Her previous work with Arlington County includes ten years coordinating ... Read More

Contact Info

Eldon James,