News Flash • Planning Commission to hold public hearing on s

May 14, 2024 – The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday about the proposed regulation of short-term rentals relating to density and separation, as well as the proposed zones.

Hampton has been working to create a standardized path for the approval of short-term rentals that will balance the needs of people who want to operate Airbnb or VRBO rentals with the desire to maintain neighborhood character. 

If approved, the change will divide the city into 51 zones.  Within each zone, the current proposal would allow 1% of the residences to operate short-term rentals. Separation distances are also proposed to keep the rentals 500 feet apart, unless they are side-by-side. That requirement is designed to limit the impact on neighborhoods so that the rental businesses would not overwhelm a street or block.

Postcards were mailed to all owners of residential properties in the city earlier this month. 

The proposals were created with the input of a stakeholder group that consisted of neighborhood leaders, rental owners, and a B&B owner. This proposal would also more clearly describe the differences between an STR and a bed-and-breakfast.

Before December 2022, short-term rentals (STRs) were only allowed as an accessory use to a residence. Since then, a process was put in place to allow STRs more broadly, but it required public hearings before both the Planning Commission and City Council. The new proposal aims to make the process less expensive to the property owner and more time-efficient for everyone involved. Earlier this year, city staff worked with additional stakeholders to create a simplified process for applicants who met all the recommended conditions while also defining the limit for how many STRs could exist in a neighborhood.

Read more about the proposal to regulate properties used for AirBNB and VRBO at The Planning Commission will meet at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers on the eighth floor of City Hall, 22 Lincoln St. The meeting is open to the public  It will be aired live on the city’s TV channel —Fios 22 and Cox 47, and streamed live at The agenda and details can be found here.

Hampton has only a few licensed short-term rentals, and those will be allowed to remain. Owners approved under the rules before 2022 will need to submit applications under the new guidelines.  

The Planning Commission vote will be in the form of a recommendation to the City Council, which is expected to consider the changes at their June 12 meeting.

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