Survey extended as Fairfax Co. mulls place of short-term rentals like Airbnb

WASHINGTON — An online survey that was scheduled to end this week is being extended until Aug. 31 so that more Fairfax County residents can register their views of short-term rentals like Airbnb.

“I don’t see that there’s a lot of unanimity anywhere here,” Fairfax County Board Supervisor Penny Gross, of the Mason district, told the Development Process Committee. Gross is urging the board to take its time.

Currently, Airbnb and other short-term rentals are not permitted in Fairfax County beyond hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast inns. But some are operating anyway.

“I’m one of those people who does have an Airbnb in my neighborhood. Code enforcement has gone in and shut it down a number of times — it just keeps popping up on Airbnb,” said Supervisor Linda Smith, of the Providence district.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill this year that allows localities to create a registry of homes available for short-term rentals.

“From our perspective, Airbnb is here to stay … we would prefer to have some standards and regulations in place,” said Leslie Johnson, zoning administrator.

So far, 5,200 responses have been received for the county’s 10-question survey. The Department of Planning and Zoning hopes to have draft regulations ready for the board’s consideration in late September.

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