July 21, 2017

Wilmington officials remain divided over short-term rentals

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HomeAway Logo

City Council addressed the issue Monday, but wasn’t unanimous on what to do next

WILMINGTON — As the issue of short-term rentals continues to divide many in the community, it also is proving to be divisive for the Wilmington City Council eyeing its next move.

At Monday’s agenda-review meeting, the council was presented with the planning department’s recommendations on how to move the long-simmering issue forward. Proponents of the rentals see it as a means of extra income to rent out rooms or whole homes to visitors through online services like AirBnB or HomeAway. Opponents, meanwhile, fear the introduction of short-term tenants will lead to disruptions in neighborhoods.

The staff’s recommendations were informed, in part, by comments made by nearly 250 residents during a contentious public forum March 14, where they were asked to write their preference on a variety of short-term rental topics on large sheets of paper taped to the walls.

At Monday’s meeting, senior planner Christine Hughes told the council there was a “general dissatisfaction” with the forum and its format, but participants generally approved of homestays when the owner is permanently living there and in commercial districts.

The staff is advising that council move forward with regulations that categorize bed […]

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