Bryan County is joining the list of local governments seeking to limit what homeowners can do with their private property.
It comes as the county has drafted an ordinance to regulate Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs), often known as AirBnB & VRBO properties.
Citing the need to ‘minimize the adverse effects of STVRs on surrounding residential properties and neighborhoods’, Bryan County has laid out a plan to ‘regulate the use of and establish standards for STVRs. The county also said it seeks to “preserve the character, integrity, and stability of residential neighborhoods in which STVRs may be located.”
Among the requirements in the drafted ordinance:
- Submission of an application with a fee to the county to become licensed to utilize the property as a STVR
- Resubmit a new application annually with a new fee every year
- Proof of ownership by the applicant
- The number of bedrooms to be utilized as STVRs
- Whether or not the property will be managed by the owner or an agency
- Information on how parking will be accommodated
- Proof that the owner and any managing agency understand the terms and conditions for STVR in Bryan County.
The ordinance also outlines reasons the application can be denied, to include:
- the property not being the primary residence of the applicant
- another STVR was revoked on that property in the last 12 months
- failure to complete the application or pay the application fee
If an application is approved, the county will send out notices to all of the neighbors to notify them of the application approval with contact information to the county.
Other stipulations of the ordinance:
- A maximum use time of 180 days per year used as a STVR (All other time must be primary residence of owner)
- A cap of 2 persons per bedroom plus 2 additional persons total and a room is only defined as a bedroom if it has a closet
- No rental may allow for more than 10 people at a time
- If the property is sold, there is a 30-day grace period and then the application process must be renewed by the new owner, with a new application, and a new application fee.
- A $1,000 fine for each day a person advertises or utilizes a property as a STVR without a county-issued license
- A violation of the ordinance is punishable by a $250 fine
- A second violaion of the ordinance is punishable by a $500 fine
- A third or subsequent violation in a 12-month period is punishable by a $1,000 fine and revocation of a license to operate a STVR.
- Owners must keep all booking rental information and income documents for at least 3 years for county review
See the complete draft below.