By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
If you operate a short-term rental in Fluvanna County, bad news, it is a zoning violation. Good news, the Board of Supervisors wants to make it legal with limited government regulation.
The board was briefed on the item during its August 16 meeting because county staff was alerted to a new ‘bed and breakfast’ in the locality. It was a home listed on Airbnb.
Upon review, staff determined there was no legal way to operate such using the current laws. The supervisors gave overwhelming support to allowing the operation.
Currently if there was a complaint, staff would determine it was a commercial operation (hotel) operating in a residential zoned property. This would be a zoning violation.
Staff proposed making short-term rentals a by-right operation in residentially zoned properties. There would be no special use permit, there would be no need to register.
Still, even that Don Weaver (Cunningham District) was against. He wanted even less government regulation than that. Staff said unfortunately if the board wanted to allow the operations, the only recourse was to add it to the zoning laws.
A zoning ordinance change will have to go through the Planning Commission before it works its way back to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.
Also during the meeting staff briefed the board on approval of a grant for the burn building. The grant will help the county build a practice facility for the volunteer firefighters. The anticipation is the county will have to match up to $300,000 for the building.
One option staff previously discussed was getting donations or using staff man hours to ‘match’ the funds. For example, if a cement company donated the slab the building sits, the value of the cement would be considered part of the county match funding.
The county will soon be able to accept debit and credit cards along with online payments, through a contract with PayGov. The county will install multiple card readers throughout to handle various payment needs.
The lease with Fluvanna Christian Service Society (FCSS) is finalized. FCSS, which operates a food bank, will lease ground space behind Carysbrook Gymnasium. The lease is for $15 a month and FCSS can pay in yearly checks.
FCSS will put moveable sheds on the leased area. FCSS currently operates a shed and a stick-built building behind Social Services building, mere yards from the new location. The move will make it easier to load and service those in need. The county is buying the stick-built building from FCSS once the move is complete.
The supervisors will next meet on Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. There will be a work session scheduled for after. At the Sept. 20 session, supervisors will discuss the Emancipation Monument that will be donated.
The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS®and by the support of readers like you.