Community Development  |  Homestays



Homestays Quick Guide and Review Steps

Bed and Breakfast Application (Rural Area) 

Accessory Tourist Lodging (Residential Districts)

Homestay Business License Information


Homestays are the rental of guest rooms for less than 30 days. Homestays are a current topic of discussion for the County Board of Supervisors. 

Other names for homestays include: Accessory Tourist Lodging, Bed and Breakfasts, AirBnB, short-term rentals (STR), and short-term lodging (STL). 






 June 19, 2019  Board of Supervisors Public Hearing  Lane Auditorium
401 McIntire Road
 (Staff Report 
not yet available)



 February 12, 2019: Planning Commission Work Session.



Currently, homestays allow for rental of five (5) guest rooms and requires a resident manager on-site. Whole-house vacation rentals are not allowed. In the County’s designated development areas, homestays are only allowed in single family houses, not in townhouses, condos, or apartments. In the County’s designated rural area, up to 10 guest rooms are allowed under certain circumstances and they don’t have to all be in a single family house.

In March 2017, the Board directed staff to prepare a tax code change so that the transient occupancy tax (sales tax paid by guests staying at hotels, motels, and campgrounds) would also be applied to homestays in Albemarle County. In addition, the Board asked staff to reach out to the community and identify areas where the zoning ordinance might broaden opportunities for residents to engage in room rentals. At its June 14, 2017 Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors amended the County Code §15-900 and §15-901 to enable the County to impose taxes on homestays, previously not included in this regulation. They also amended County Code §8-616 to explicitly list short-term rentals on the list of businesses subject to the business, professions, and occupations licensing (BPOL) tax requirements. As a result of these amendments, current operators who are not presently in compliance will have to come into compliance with applicable zoning regulations and secure the required permits. Learn more about how to become compliant here.


The County’s goals of protecting existing neighborhoods, ensuring the availability of affordable housing, and not commercializing the rural areas are being reviewed for balance with its goals for tourism and economic development.

The Board is currently discussing the following proposed regulations regarding Homestays.


For more information, or to be placed on an email mailing list to receive updates on this process, email Bart Svoboda at or Rebecca Ragsdale at



Meeting Materials

May 3, 2017.

This zoning text amendment (ZTA) was initiated by the Board of Supervisors with adoption of a resolution of intent.

Executive Summary 


June 14, 2017.

Public Hearings

Executive Summary: Transient Lodging Tax Ordinance Amendment 

Executive Summary: Short Term Lodging Rental Business License Ordinance Amendment

July 5, 2017.

The Board held a work session on the ZTA to define parameters for potential zoning changes. The parameters set by the Board included: 

1) Consider amendments to deal with periodic whole house (owner not present)
2) Consider expanding zoning regulations to include allowance of transient lodging in attached dwellings such as townhomes and apartments/condominiums.

Executive Summary


September 2017.

A series of public meeting were held to gather input on potential changes to allow more opportunities for residential transient lodging.At each of the community meetings a survey was taken. Comments were also accepted via an online form.  


Compiled Feedback

October 24, 2017.

The Planning Commission reviewed public input and discussed this topic in a work session.



December 19, 2017.

The Planning Commision considered proposals from staff to amend the zoning regulations for tourist lodgings, held discussion, expressed comments and concenres.

Staff Report

March 20, 2018.

At this work session, Planning Commissioners were asked to review proposed changes and ask for clarity.

Staff Report

April 24th, 2018.

Planning Commission Public Hearing on proposed changes.

Staff Report

June 13, 2018.

Board of Supervisors work session.

Staff Report

 July 9, 2018.

Board of Supervisors work session.

Staff Report

September 12, 2018.

Board of Supervisors work session.

Staff Report

November 14, 2018.

Planning Commision work session. 

Staff Report

January 8, 2019.

Public roundtable to discuss homestay ordinance amendments.

Presentation Slides

February 12, 2019.

Planning Commission work session to discuss 1) Special exceptions; 2) Emergency Contact/Responsible Agent; 3) Grandfathering

Staff Report

Presentation Slides

April 23, 2019.

Planning Commission public hearing

Staff Report