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Wilmington pushes short-term rental ordinance rewrite into 2021

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City of Wilmington, Planning, Development and Transportation Department
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City of Wilmington

A New Hanover County Superior Court case struck down the City of Wilmington’s short-term rental regulations back in September. And city planning staff now have plans to change the rules to comply with existing law, but as WHQR reports, they won’t be debated until early next year.

At last night’s Planning Commission meeting, Shawn Evans, an assistant attorney for the City of Wilmington, addressed the Commissioners. He said city planning staff wanted to push the decision on short-term lodging regulations to January 6th.

Evans says it was because staff went through several rounds of editing, and they were only able to get the new draft to Commissioners on Tuesday. He also says staff needs more time to review the changes.

When it came time to vote on the continuance, Commissioner Ron Woodruff asked,

“Is the pending litigation potentially going to affect what we do?”

Attorney Evans responded: “There is certainly litigation pending in this matter. I don’t think it will have a great impact on what comes forward. We are bringing it forward earlier and part of the reason for that is the pending litigation.”

The UNC School of Government posted a blog advising city planning staff to use a zoning permit for these rentals and drop the property registration requirement. And in the staff’s draft, they appear to be taking their advice.

The draft would also remove caps on the maximum number of short-term rentals except for in multi-family districts.