GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — No matter where you live in the Piedmont Triad, short-term rentals like Airbnbs and VRBOs are popping up.
On Wednesday night, people in Greensboro discussed possible planned changes to a city ordinance at a planning and zoning commission meeting. The commission passed a motion to recommend the ordinance to city council.
There are an estimated 600 short-term rentals in Greensboro. Some of those are in the Fisher Park area. Some people who live there are worried the short-term rentals will take away the character of the neighborhood. Many of them shared their opinion at the meeting.
“Fisher Park is comprised of 51% rentals in general in this neighborhood…so we’re okay with rentals but done a specific way,” said Chris Fletcher, who lives on Bessemer Avenue.
“Say no to unlimited Airbnbs” is the message printed on dozens of signs lining the streets in the Fisher Park neighborhood.
“Greensboro has beautiful residential neighborhoods and separately zoned areas for commercial…so we want to keep it that way,” said Steve Rasmussen Cancian, who lives beside Fletcher.
Fletcher and Rasmussen Cancian live across the street from a short-term rental house. They, along with others in their neighborhood, aren’t entirely opposed to people renting out their homes, but they want the owner to be there.
“If stay in an Airbnb but stay in an Airbnb with an owner that’s occupying the unit, sharing a portion of their house that benefits everybody,” Jennifer Schwarz said.
On Wednesday night, more than 80 people shared concerns with the Greensboro Planning and Zoning Commission.
The commission looked at a new ordinance, which would define short-term rentals as 30 days or less and would require zoning permits and contact information for the person over the unit. That way if something goes wrong, the owner is responsible.
“Short-term rentals are here to stay, and I applaud the city for making sure they’re managed and governed effectively,” said one man who spoke during the public hearing.
Some people don’t want to see it in their neighborhood.
“If people want to rent out their own homes, that’s a residential activity,” Fletcher said. “That can happen in resident to a neighborhood, but if an outside investor is buying homes and turning them into mini hotels, not a problem. But it should be in a commercial area.”
No decision has been made. The recommendation now goes to city council members for the final say.