City wants public input on short-term rentals

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As the city of Wilmington considers revisions to its short-term rentals use policy, the public is encouraged to voice their opinions during a public input meeting this week.

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Forest Hills Elementary School at 602 Colonial Drive.

The policy has come under scrutiny after residents in the city’s historic district lodged complaints about residential properties that owners have rented out to visitors on a short-term basis through sites like Airbnb. According to current city codes, those renting out private residences must stay a minimum of seven days, but most short-term visitors stay for less than that, often just for the weekend.

Residents who are against the practice say that such properties are businesses and therefore not allowed in areas zoned residential, but those in favor of it say it helps locals earn more income and gives visitors better options for lodging in an area that lacks it.

The city is looking to hear from both sides. In recent weeks, other public input meetings have been held on the maintenance of the city’s brick roads and the possible creation of a municipal services district in the downtown central business district.

More information on the meeting and the issue can be found here.