Short Term Rentals
Short term rentals are dwellings available for rent for fewer than 30 days.
In recent civic league meetings and on social media there has been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of short term rentals ( STR ). In recent meetings with members of the planning department they have helped me better understand how to work with the city in trying to resolve concerns with STR. Here are some tips I have learned:
If you want to know if an address is a STR you can look it up here: https://www.norfolk.gov/DocumentCenter/View/61039/STR-List?bidId=
If the address does not show up on this list, submit the address as a suspected STR to Norfolk Cares website. The city is making a good effort to track down non-permitted STR ,fine them and / or shut them down.
If you want to know how many STR there are around your home look it up on this map: https://www.norfolk.gov/4295/Short-Term-Rentals ( You can zoom in for detail ) STR in our area need a conditional use permit ( CUP ). This permit sets several requirements and expectations that the STR MUST follow. Most of the CUP is standard for an STR but there can be items unique to an address. The standard requirements are found at https://www.norfolk.gov/4295/Short-Term-Rentals#:~:text=Conditional%20Use%20Permits%20have%20a,pre%2Dapplication%20meeting%20with%20Staff . Failure to follow these can be a violation of their CUP permit.
Three violations and they can lose their permit to operate an STR.
Some of the most frequent complaints/violations are noise, parking and fireworks. There should be a number posted on a sign at the STR that should be answered ( by a live person ) and you can explain your issue. The STR owner has 20 minutes to have a representative there to resolve the problem. If not then that is a violation. Document it. Also you can call the police and if they come out, see if you can get a report number for your documentation.
It is important that residents report violations to the city. You do this through the Norfolk Cares website at https://www.norfolk.gov/392/Norfolk-Cares-Center .Violations need to be documented with the city. Complaining to neighbors and on social media may make you feel better but if you want to use the tools that can get results you need to document the violations on Norfolk Cares. The city makes their list of past complaints available to the public at the Norfolk Cares website. You can enter an address and find the list of submissions. Use W Ocean View Ave and not West Ocean View Ave. If your submission of a violation does not appear after a few days then resubmit. Documentation is the key.
What does a STR have to do to get a CUP ? Check the link below. https://www.norfolk.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4115/Conditional-Use-Permit-Brochure?bidId=
Our elected officials who have the final say in approving an STR are the members of the city council. Their names, email and phone numbers can be found at https://www.norfolk.gov/533/Members