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Text Amendments and Short-Term Rentals

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During the process to develop the Buncombe County 2043 Comprehensive Plan, thousands of community members provided input and shared feedback to develop the vision for the next 20 years. A key directive from that process was to mitigate the loss of year-round housing to short-term rentals. To create more long-term rental and owner-occupied housing opportunities, staff from the Buncombe County Planning Department is proposing a series of text amendments to the current zoning Zoning Ordinance that limit where short-term rentals can be located in the unincorporated parts of the County, and provides standards for new short-term rentals.

These proposed text amendments include:

  • Limiting the location of dwelling units used for short-term rentals or grouped complexes of short-term rentals
  • Lowering the maximum gross floor area of a single unit for a short-term rental
  • Clarifying the definition of a short-term rental
  • Creating special requirement standards for short-term rentals
  • Requiring a minimum rental period of two nights every 180 days to maintain status as a grandfathered use for non-conforming short-term rentals that are pre-existing
  • Prohibiting short-term rentals in manufactured home parks
  • Prohibiting short-term rentals in developments that receive a County incentive such as a density bonus
  • Creating a trigger whereby the grandfathered status of pre-existing, non-conforming short-term rentals ends when ownership is transferred by deed

Planning staff will present the proposed amendments to the Planning Board on Dec. 18. The Planning Board consists of nine regular members appointed by the Board of Commissioners who provide recommendations on land use development regulations such as zoning map amendments and zoning text amendments. Meetings are held on the third Monday of every month at 9:30 a.m. at 30 Valley St., Asheville. Any text amendments reviewed by the Planning Board would then go to the Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Bolstering affordable housing

According to a 2021 Dogwood Health Trust study, Buncombe County’s long-term rental housing gap was 7,699 units, while the housing ownership gap was 2,048 units. Individuals and families earning less than or equal to 50% of the area median income make up 70% of the housing gap.

The proposed text amendments represent another approach to bolster affordable housing options in the County. At its Dec. 5 briefing, the Board of Commissioners heard options on a conversion program that would provide financial incentives to property owners who transitioned properties from short-term rentals to long-term rentals. Click here for more information about the proposed conversion incentive.

Related articles: Planning Board Schedules Work Sessions

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Updated Feb 29, 2024 10:22 AM
Published Dec 15, 2023 04:00 PM

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