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Chapel Hill Town Council Adopts a Sensible Short-Term Rental Policy

Chapel Hill Town Council Adopts a Sensible Short-Term Rental Policy

*The following is an email from The Chamber, CHALT, local hoteliers, a former Mayor of Chapel Hill to the Town Council applauding their unanimous approval of a sensible short-term rental policy.    

June 24, 2021

Dear Mayor and Council,

Thank you for your unanimous approval of what we believe is a very fair and reasonable policy to address short-term rentals (STRs) in Chapel Hill

Over the last two years and with careful consideration, you and town staff successfully reframed this complex issue into two categories: Primary Residence STRs and Dedicated STRs. This distinction allowed for good policy to unfold. 

This final ordinance is important and necessary because the STR phenomenon predates the language in our code. Now, as the policy is implemented, STR operators in Chapel Hill can come out of the shadows and navigate a clear and proper path to permit for their business activity. Furthermore, the new policy will help them operate safely in appropriate, allowable zones, while also ensuring a more level playing field for the hospitality industry.

Again, thank you for your leadership and hard work on this important issue, and service to our community. We hope you have a restful summer recess. 

With appreciation,

Aaron Nelson and Katie Loovis, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro

Julie McClintock, Linda Carol Davis, and John Quinterno, Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town

Anthony Carey, Managing Director, The Siena Hotel

Manish Atma, President & CEO, Atma Hotel Group

D. R. Bryan, President, Bryan Properties, Inc, and Co-owner, Hyatt Place Chapel Hill

Rosemary Waldorf, Former Mayor of Chapel Hill

Short-Term Rentals in Chapel Hill

Source: Chapel Hill e-News

Post Date: 06/24/2021 at 1:13 PM

The Chapel Hill Town Council adopted changes at its virtual business meeting Wednesday, June 23rd, to Town ordinances to better address Short-Term Rentals (STRs) within Town limits.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, addresses two types of short-term rentals:

  • Owner-occupied rentals in which people rent out part or all their residence, and
  • Dedicated rentals that are used solely for rent to third parties.

The resolution accomplishes three main goals:

  • Establishes high-density, mixed-use, and commercial areas in Town as the only places where dedicated STRs will be allowed,
  • Allows owner-occupied STRs to operate within neighborhoods based on certain residency criteria, and
  • Provides operational requirements such as zoning compliance permits, occupancy limits, and parking restrictions to ensure overall public safety and to protect the welfare of adjacent property owners.

Council also established an 18-month deadline (Dec. 23, 2022) for existing STRs to come into compliance with Town ordinances.  As a result, dedicated STRs that currently exist within neighborhoods will need to revert to residential use or shift to long-term rentals by that time.  

The ability to operate an STR within a neighborhood is also contingent on homeowner association (HOA) covenants, which may be more restrictive than the Town’s regulations.

Council’s decision marked the culmination of a two-year process, which included input from a council-appointed Short-Term Rental Task Force. A copy of the full resolution, along with complete and accurate information, can be found on the Town’s Short Term Rental Project website.

Over the summer, Town staff will be working on a public information campaign to educate the community about these new regulations and creating an application for STR operators to register with the Town.  Information gathered will be shared with Council as part of an annual update next spring.


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