Skip to content

Get Connected & Stay Informed

Access networks, knowledge, and a team of professionals dedicated to helping you thrive.

Lower Your Business Expenses

Save money on small business health and dental services, credit card processing fees, workers’ comp coverage and more.

Increase Your Community Impact

Successful businesses create successful communities and we are passionate about both. Get informed, get engaged, and make your voice heard.

It is Time to Enforce the Chapel Hill Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance

It is Time to Enforce the Chapel Hill Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance

This letter was emailed to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Thursday, March 2, 2023 by The Chamber on behalf of a short-term rental working group. 

Dear Chapel Hill Mayor and Town Council, 

We write to remind you that it is past-time to enforce the short-term rental (STR) ordinance. 

As you recall, the STR ordinance was adopted in June 2021 and rightly distinguished two types of STRs: 

  1. Owner-occupied STRs, which are primary residences and 
  2. Dedicated STRs, which are investor-owned properties (no primary resident) that operate for commercial purposes similar to a hotel. 

The June 2021 ordinance required a permit for all STRs, limited the location of Dedicated STRs to commercial and mixed-use zones, and included an 18-month notification period for STR operators to come into compliance. That notification period expired more than two months ago - on December 23, 2022.  

Coming into compliance is a straightforward undertaking. Investors of Dedicated STRs can simply change their commercial operation back to the residential use for which the property was intended or to a long-term rental, which means more housing available for our local workforce. 

According to AirDNA, which is a source for AirBNB and VRBO STRs, there are 500 active Entire House rentals in Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro; 194 of these active STRs had reservations in the month of January 2023, and a super majority are within Town of Chapel Hill limits and operating in residential zones. 

Bottom line: There is an astounding number of Dedicated STRs still operating within the Town of Chapel Hill limits in direct violation of the STR ordinance passed nearly two years ago. According to the Town of Chapel Hill Land Use Management Ordinance and review from the UNC School of Government, these zoning violations are a misdemeanor and subject to zoning violation enforcement policies. 

For your convenience, enclosed is the AirDNA data. Tab 1 lists all 500 active “Entire Home” STRs in our area in January 2023, Tab 2 lists all 194 active “Entire Home” STRs in our area that had an active reservation in January 2023, and Tab 3 is the raw data from AirDNA. In addition, here is a google map with each STR pinned and layered so you can easily see which are operating within town limits. We request that you enforce the STR ordinance with no additional delay.


Katie Loovis and Aaron Nelson, 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 

Powered By GrowthZone