City Council finalizing agenda for Virginia General Assembly

December 24, 2017 by  

In January, the Williamsburg City Council will go before the Virginia General Assembly with its legislative agenda.

Two of the issues the city is focused on are group homes in the city, and regulation of Airbnb and other rentals controlled over the internet.

Group homes are facilities that house a small number of unrelated individuals who need care of some type. Often, the residents of these homes are elderly, or mentally ill. At the moment, the city has no say in where such homes are located, since the decision is made at the state level. The Council plans to ask the Assembly to craft legislation giving advance notice to jurisdictions when a group home is planned for their area of responsibility.

Doug Pons, a council member, said the request is in no way an attempt to exclude or limit such homes, but to simplify the process of establishing them.

With regard to Airbnb and other short-term, internet-based rentals, the issue arises because legislation changed last year. At one time, Airbnb landlords could establish their rentals anywhere, but now the localities are allowed to determine their location. The Council is debating how to change the City Code to reflect this new situation. Pons believes rental locations should be mutually agreed on by the local government and the area’s residents.

Matters like this are of widespread interest, so officials might contact a newsletter printing company to create an update letter for city residents.