Print
Real Estate - Residential

OpEd: City Should Move Past Short-term Rental Debate

By Tyler Newman, posted Jan 22, 2019
BASE, Business Alliance for a Sound Economy, is an organization that advocates for business and industry in southeastern North Carolina. Our mission is to support public policy that attracts a mix of business and industry and enhances economic opportunities in southeastern North Carolina.
 
With a decision potentially imminent, we wanted to again offer our perspective on the complicated short-term rental issue. Fortunately, our city remains a major destination community with a huge tourism component. Yet, as we saw following the storm, we still have housing availability challenges. As a region, we continue to see significant economic benefit from lodging options that meet the needs of a range of potential visitors, guests and local citizens.
 
As we move forward, as the Comprehensive Plan illustrates, our community will have a growing need to embrace mixes of uses within districts in our small urban footprint. 
 
Unfortunately, as noted in the staff report and proven by the Planning Commission votes, there isn’t a silver bullet to address the perceived short-term rental problem. This is further supported by the wide range of approaches shown in the Benchmark Cities analysis. Many other municipalities in a range of states have tried – and failed – to get their arms around this complex property rights issue.
 
In North Carolina, there appear to be unanswered questions regarding short-term rental ordinances and how they comply with North Carolina law (single-family use) and the Vacation Rental Act. Based on the experiences of other cities in North Carolina and the fact that entities like the UNC School of Government, General Assembly and Real Estate Commission haven’t weighed in, we would reiterate the path forward is unclear. 
 
Throughout this lengthy process, the concerns that we have heard regarding short-term rentals don’t really deal with the short-term or long-term length of stay – it seems to be more about the behavior of the potential occupant. Thus, the issue is really about enforcement.
 
As yet, we have not seen specific data on noise or trash or parking infractions directly tied to rentals in the city. If an ordinance moves forward, the city will have to invest in administration, staff and technology to administer this ordinance. If we are going to create a new city department and staff it, is short-term rental enforcement the most pressing need?
 
In closing, while we appreciate the hard work, we would like to again formally request that this issue be set aside.
 
Instead of being mired down with this topic, we encourage Wilmington City Council to direct city planning staff to focus their time on 1) facilitating investments moving through the approval process and 2) strongly coordinating efforts with New Hanover County, as both entities overhaul their respective development ordinances. 
 
Tyler Newman is president and CEO of Business Alliance for a Sound Economy.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Ditch the Jargon: Simple Tips for Effective Management

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Held for Ransom(ware): You AND Your Company. How NOT to be a Victim

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Johndevaneycapefearclinic300x300

Cape Fear Clinic Pharmacy

John Devaney - Cape Fear Clinic

Trending News

Three Celebrity Chefs Coming Back To Wilmington For GLOW Opening

Cece Nunn and Vicky Janowski - Jun 12, 2019

Leland Plan Includes Potential For Cold Storage, Microbreweries, More

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 12, 2019

Wilmington Nonprofit TV Show To Premiere On The Design Network

Johanna Cano - Jun 12, 2019

Entrepreneur Richard Johnson's Latest Project Aims To Boost Burgaw

Johanna Cano - Jun 14, 2019

Rooster & The Crow Brings Casual Southern Cuisine Downtown

Jessica Maurer - Jun 12, 2019

In The Current Issue

Building Efforts To Attract Workers

With demand running high for construction industry workers, officials with area training programs and companies are looking for ways to attr...


WilmingtonBiz Magazine's Health Issue Is Out

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal's latest edition of the WilmingtonBiz Magazine is out. The issue takes an in-depth look at the area'...


MADE: Production Capacity

From power cords to nuclear fuel, manufacturing companies across the Cape Fear region are making a wide range of products. Here’s a recap of...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018