A new chapter in the city’s quest to regulate short-term housing rentals is off to an uneven start, after notices of violation – and accompanying $100 fines – were sent last week to a first round of property owners believed to be operating such rentals without a permit.
In time for college students’ return to Harrisonburg for the fall, the city council on Tuesday unanimously approved changes to the noise ordinance aimed at massive parties. The new amendments include tightening restrictions on party organizers from getting a new permit if they become repeat offenders — either for noise or underage drinking.
Council members, local nonprofit staff and residents aired their concerns Tuesday over where Harrisonburg’s homeless residents spend their nights.
As Harrisonburg continues its experiment with how to regulate Airbnb properties and other short-term rentals, the planning commission — and city council — are now wrestling with how to fairly decide who gets a permit and how to do so efficiently and with the fewest unintended consequences.
The city council took steps to address Harrisonburg’s housing and real estate environment Tuesday night with the approval of a new zoning district for single family houses to go on smaller lots and gave the green light to the first three special permits to operate Airbnbs in the city.