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  • Update on Buncombe County Additional Proposed Short Term Rental Restrictions

    Thursday, April 4, 2024   /   by Amy Brown

    Update on Buncombe County Additional Proposed Short Term Rental Restrictions

    We have been following this very closely as we are approaching the final days for vote and implementation. The final meeting on this issue by the Buncombe County Planning Board will be held on April 22nd at 5:30pm in A-B Tech's Ferguson Auditorium. At that time, a final public hearing and vote will be held. Recommendations will then be sent on to the Board of Commissioners who will also hold a public hearing and vote to decide on which changes to make into law.

    Though we are still looking for clarity and specifics this is what was published on the Buncombe county website as of April 3, 2024.

    Buncombe County’s Planning Department is continuing  work on proposed short-term rental text amendments stemming from recommendations from the recently approved 2043 Comprehensive Plan.

    What you need to know
    The proposed restrictions would only apply to newly created short-term rentals. Existing properties would be grandfathered. These proposed rules would not be applicable to any of the six municipalities within Buncombe County; the regulations would only be for unincorporated areas of the County.

    If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the proposed text amendments to the ordinance would:

    • Limit new short-term rentals to certain districts,
    • Set limits on the total permitted square footage of each short-term rental,
    • Prohibit such rentals in manufactured home parks and affordable housing developments, and
    • Create requirements around waste disposal, parking, and signage.

    Again, these proposed rules would only apply to unincorporated areas of Buncombe County. The County’s Planning staff is currently working on an updated draft of the proposed text amendments and a list of frequently asked questions. This article will be updated to reflect those documents as soon as they are available. To view previous meetings and supporting documents, please visit engage.buncombecounty.org.

    What: Short-term rental Planning Board meeting, public hearing, and vote
    When: Monday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m.
    Where: A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium

    Under the link above, short term rental text amendments, they did give further specifics on proposed terms.

    These proposed text amendments include:

    • Limiting the location of dwelling units used for short-term rentals or grouped complexes of short-term rentals
    • Lowering the maximum gross floor area of a single unit for a short-term rental
    • Clarifying the definition of a short-term rental
    • Creating special requirement standards for short-term rentals
    • Requiring a minimum rental period of two nights every 180 days to maintain status as a grandfathered use for non-conforming short-term rentals that are pre-existing
    • Prohibiting short-term rentals in manufactured home parks
    • Prohibiting short-term rentals in developments that receive a County incentive such as a density bonus
    • Creating a trigger whereby the grandfathered status of pre-existing, non-conforming short-term rentals ends when ownership is transferred by deed

    The one that is most concerning to me as a resident and former airbnb owner is the last one, "grandfathered status of pre-existing, non-conforming short-term rentals ends when ownership is transferred by deed".

    This would indicate that upon sale, short term rental status would cease to exist. 

    I checked the Board of Commissioners schedule and they would be meeting on this topic on May 7th which means that implementation would occur shortly thereafter. If the final proposed amendment is ratified then keep in mind that you would need to purchase your short term rental before May in order to keep short term rental ability. 

    Let's all keep an eye on this topic as this could be a game changer for those looking to invest in Buncombe county.