Danville's new town ordinance prohibiting short-term residential rentals, such as those offered through Airbnb, is set to take effect Friday.
The Town Council voted 4-1 March 1 to adopt a ban on residential rentals of 30 days or less within the town limits, scheduling the first-time rules to become official one month after approval as is typical, barring any legal objection.
"There have been no challenges, and no negative feedback," Danville city attorney Rob Ewing said Thursday, confirming the ordinance would take effect the next day. "As far as enforcement, we will handle it on a complaint basis as we do with all of our code enforcement efforts."
For people who violate the new local law, town officials would most likely pursue punishment through an administrative citation with a $100 fine, Ewing said, while also noting the town does have a range of potential options available to address violators under the town's municipal code.
The short-term rental ban debate drew dozens of residents to the Town Meeting Hall in February when the council held its first public hearing on the issue and ultimately voted to give initial support to the ordinance -- which was formally approved two weeks later in a required second vote.
The council majority argued that renting out residential-zoned properties for such short periods was inconsistent with town zoning rules, deeming the practice to be essentially commercial rental operations occurring within residential-only districts.
Councilman Robert Storer was the lone dissenting vote, contending the proposed ban was based more on emotion than fact and urging the town to take more time to research the issue.
The council heard from residents on both sides of the debate during the Feb. 16 hearing, with most in the audience in favor of the prohibition but some others voicing support for Airbnb and similar operations. Concerns raised by pro-ban residents included neighborhood safety, perceived shortcomings in the rental vetting process and protecting Danville's small-town feel.
There were an average of 15 housing units in Danville (ranging from individual rooms to entire homes) listed on short-term rental sites, out of approximately 16,000 housing units in the town overall, town officials said in February.