After more than a year of hand-wringing, city leaders are poised to take action on a proposal that would allow residents to rent out rooms in their home.
The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday scheduled a public hearing for June 7 on a proposal to legalize short-term residential rentals through online services like Airbnb and VRBO – short for “Air bed and breakfast” and “Vacation Rentals By Owner” – and the council could vote on the same day.
It’s illegal for Raleigh residents to rent out rooms in their home and city inspectors issued their first and only violation notice in 2014. Since then, Raleigh leaders have been working to craft regulations that would allow residents to rent out rooms for as long as 30 days at a time.
The process has gone slowly. Many residents and local business leaders have said legitimizing Airbnb and VRBO is key to maintaining Raleigh’s reputation as a progressive, tourism-friendly city. Meanwhile, some residents have said they want to restrict the practice in order to prevent an influx of noise and traffic into quiet neighborhoods.
Like other mid-sized cities, though, Raleigh’s proposal attempts to limit the number of short-term rental homes in each neighborhood. Under proposed rules, Raleigh would allow only one rental home every 400 square-feet on a first-come, first-served basis.
The proposal scheduled to go before the City Council in June would also limit residents to renting out a total of two rooms.
Council members on Tuesday made few comments Tuesday when scheduling the hearing. The City Council by law can adopt regulations different than those proposed before the public hearing, Mayor Nancy McFarlane noted.