Norfolk holding second town hall on short-term vacation rentals

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Norfolk will again discuss a big issue impacting tourism on Thursday night.

Mayor Kenny Alexander will host the last of two town hall meetings at helping shape the rules surrounding short-term vacation rentals.

The city’s goal is to collect input that will affect services like Airbnb. Alexander met with residents both for and against the rental homes in Ocean View on Monday night.

Those who opposed the rentals said they were concerned about safety, parking and property damage.

However, supporters who have served as Airbnb hosts said  they have never had any problems with the rentals and believe they boost the economy.

Related: New rules for Airbnb could come from local governments

Currently, renting a residence under 31 days is illegal, but there is an exception for people who are related to the homeowner.

Some proposed changes include allowing short-term rentals, but owners would have to be at their homes while guests are there, get permits, pay taxes and voluntarily register with the city.

The city is also considering vacation home rentals, where the homeowner would not have to be there. However, this would only be allowed in downtown and in coastal areas in the city.

Related: Va. Beach weighs in on short-term rentals regulations

The town hall will include a discussion with panelists from Norfolk City Attorney’s Office and Old Dominion University.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Virginia Arts Festival Building

Alexander says he expects a possible new ordinance should be presented to the city council sometime in January.