Community Development  |  Transient Lodging

Current Regulations and Review Process

Information on Transient Lodging & Review Steps for ATL & BnB 

Application for Bed and Breakfast 

Application for
Accessory Tourist Lodging

Home-based transient lodging, more commonly known as Accessory Tourist Lodging, Bed and Breakfasts, AirBnB, Homestay, or Short-term Rentals, has been a recent topic of discussion for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

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 home-based transient lodging 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 residential transient lodging, 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.

At present, home-based transient lodging allows 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, home-based transient lodging is 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.

  • The County is looking into the possibility of expanding zoning regulations to include allowance of transient lodging in attached dwellings such as townhomes and condominiums, and
  • allowing for periodic whole house/apartment rentals.

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.

 For more information, or to be placed on an email mailing list to receive updates on this process, email 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.

Upcoming Board of Supervisors work session.



Tentative Board of Supervisors work session.