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
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Why Your Company Needs a Corporate Video

Jim Ellis - Signal
Webilm julieformal kellystarbuckcom mg 5471

Business is Growing at the ILM Business Park

Julie Wilsey - Wilmington International Airport
Infinity 891835159

What is EMV and Am I Liable?

Kyle Thorpe - Infinity Payment Systems

Trending News

Coastal Carolina Curling Club To Slide Into Own Facility

Johanna Cano - Apr 22, 2019

Brunswick County March Residential Sales Warm With Weather

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

Parr Earns Fellowship From Professional Organlzation

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

Mitchell Joins Team At North State Bank Mortgage

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

Wilmington Search Firm Makes Second Appearance On Forbes List

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

In The Current Issue

Hamilton Looks To Redefine The Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship isn't limited to a select few, says Brian Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Sageworks, who has been spreading that message i...


Beach Town's Hotels Seem To Rebound

While Hurricane Florence temporarily shuttered two Wrightsville Beach landmark hotels, along with numerous vacation rentals, the hemorrhage...


Navigating New Traffic Solutions

As the area continues to attract new residents and businesses, as well as bumper crops of tourists, the challenge of improving traffic flow...

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