Forming a Coalition in Fredericksburg, Virginia (not to be confused with the one in TX) to make the city more airbnb friendly

Adam-And-Maria2
Level 2
Fredericksburg, VA

Forming a Coalition in Fredericksburg, Virginia (not to be confused with the one in TX) to make the city more airbnb friendly

We've recently started a closed group on FB to create an alliance with other professional hosts in the city in order to propose a text amendment to the city council's restrictive home stay policy.  The city regulates through zoning ordinances and residential areas are limited to 90 days out of the year while requiring an occupant (someone living in the house) to operate the Airbnb and requiring certified letters be mailed out to each adjoining property owner (including a University) giving them 28 days to complain and potentially cause the permit not to be granted. Oh, it also limits these short term rentals (they call it a "home stay") to no more than 2 bedrooms with 4 guests total.

 

Our proposed amendment will expand timeframe from 90-365 days (we'd accept anything over 180 though). We also want to rent out the entire home and not be required to occupy the home we're offering on airbnb.  It'll take some time to get this through City Council, and we think we might be up against the hotel lobby in the city; but we think it will be beneficial for 5 reasons which we hope to articulate over and over to everyone:

1) The city benefits from airbnb's with additional revenue since they are able to double tax a property (real estate and hotel taxes)

2) The city residents benefit from increased property values and safer neighborhoods since property improvements are made and the property is well maintained while additional security measures (like cameras on front porches and smart doorbells are installed).

3) The visitors, tourists, or travelers to/through the city benefit from better accommodations than most hotels at often better prices (king size versus queen size beds, and full kitchens vs. kitchenette or no kitchen.)

and when rental-arbitrage is employed, which we do:

4) The property owners benefit from consistent, on-time rent payment (often at a premium over other tenants) and their property being better cared for than most long-term tenants.

5) Small business owners/professional hosts like myself can benefit from the entrepreneurial opportunities and better providing for our families.

 

Feel free to reach out, provide advice, copy my "5-wins for STR's" and share with all your friends!  We can do this!

Peace,

Adam

6 Replies 6
Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Adam-And-Maria2 I would consider dropping/modifying number 5. As written it is benefitting those who want to Airbnb and not the wider community. I would change it to Independent restaurant/deli owners and other local shopkeepers will benefit from the increased tourism brought by STRs. When low cost airlines arrived they drove a massive increase in flying and didn't just take revenue from the majors. As such it was actually a win-win which is a good message to promote.

Thanks for that feedback @Mike-And-Jane0 !  It probably would be a 6th reason (maybe the 5th, and the selfish single small business owners who are hosts would be #6)  I see what you mean, and increased tourism is definitely a factor, but I think it's transparent and vulnerable to disclose the motive of us hosts of trying to actually make a living rather than leave it out which might be perceived as dishonest, even if only disingenuous... Make Sense?

 

I know win-win's are great, and everyone loves them... but win-win-win-win-win-win's should be loved 6x as much!

 

Peace,

Adam

Mar125
Level 10
California, United States

@Adam-And-Maria2 

add a 6) no airbnbs in the area is crowding /using the public school system but they are paying property taxes to support the schools and infrastructures 

 

Antonio556
Level 1
Arlington, VA

@Adam-And-Maria2 Definitely interested in joining the FB group, if possible. What is the name of the group?

 

Thanks,

 Tony

I'll have to send you a link through FB since it's a private group. Look me up, either "Adam Johns" or "Bow AndArrow" on FB and you should find me. Then I can invite you!

Hello, I am interested.  I don't do FB regularly.  Can you provide an email address?