Ordinance Amendment (Short-Term Rentals)



ORDINANCE – To Amend and Reordain Section 24-3 Titled “Definitions,” Section 24-12 Titled “Conditional uses permitted by special exception,” Section 24-13 Titled “Accessory uses permitted,” Section 24-13.01 Titled “Development standards and conditions for permitted uses,” Section 24-13.2 Titled “Accessory uses permitted,” Section 24-13.3 Titled “Conditional uses permitted,” Section 24-28 Titled “Principal uses permitted,” Section 24-39 Titled “Accessory uses permitted,” Section 24-94 Titled “Table of regulations,” Section 24-96 Titled “Off-street parking requirements,” and Section 24-121 Titled “Conditional zoning or zone approval” of the Code of the County of Henrico.

This ordinance allows for short-term rentals of real estate for periods of fewer than 30 consecutive days. Specifically, this ordinance allows hosted short-term rentals by right in the R-0, R-0A, R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-2A, R-3, R-3A, R-4, and R-4A residential districts and A-1 agricultural district if (i) the property owner remains at the property during the rental, (ii) the short-term renters lodge in the principal dwelling, and not a guesthouse (iii) the property is on a lot with 80 feet or more of road frontage, (iv) no more than six short-term renters occupy the property during the rental, and (v) the property is used as a short-term rental no more than 60 days in a calendar year. For all other short-term rentals in those districts, this ordinance requires the operator of the rental to obtain a conditional use permit. All short-term rentals would be subject to regulations restricting other commercial uses at short-term rentals and limiting rentals to the operator’s primary residence owned by him. The ordinance would also limit the number of short-term renters and pets and the hours when check-in and check-out services may be offered. The ordinance would prohibit rentals to minors and double-booking. The ordinance would require provision of life-safety equipment consistent with the building code, posting of certain information within the rental, designation of adults to respond to complaints, keeping of records of short-term rentals, and provision of off-street parking. Finally, the ordinance would add and revise definitions related to the rental of real estate.

Summary of Draft Zoning Regulations

Blackline Zoning

Blackline Registry

The Planning Commission and staff worked on this issue for over two years. We have held ten work sessions and three public hearings. Two bulk mailings were sent to notify interested parties: one included 275 addresses and the other 350. Our efforts have also been covered by the local news media. The following information has been developed to help answer frequently asked questions:


Q: When will the regulations be effective?

A: If these regulations are adopted, some short-term rentals will be allowed right away. Others will require a conditional use permit.


Q: How much will it cost to register for short-term rental?

A: The proposed annual registry fee is $200. When a conditional use permit is required, the proposed application fee is $300. Short-term rentals will also be required to pay transient occupancy tax of 8%.


Q: Does my home qualify for short-term rentals?

A: Under the proposed regulations, short-term rentals would be allowed only in your primary residence, and only in the zoning districts that allow one-family dwellings. More details are available in the information sheet. We have also developed a checklist to help you walk through the process step by step.


Q: Will I need a conditional use permit to operate a short-term rental?

A: A conditional use permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals would be required for any of the following:

  • Any unhosted stays (property owner not at home during the rental)
  • More than 60 days per year of hosted stays
  • More than 6 guests at any time
  • Property with less than 80 feet of street frontage
  • Rental of a guesthouse or other detached building


The application fee is $300 in addition to the registration fee. The County will notify the neighbors and hold a public hearing. The Board may approve the conditional use permit subject to conditions based on the specific location and other factors.


Q: How do I complain if my neighbor has short-term renters?

A: In an emergency, dial 911. In all other cases, call the Department of Community Revitalization, (804) 501-4757. During office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm), you should be able to speak to a zoning inspector who will take the necessary information and follow up with enforcement action.

After office hours and on weekends, leave a message including your name and contact information, the location and nature of the violation, and a brief explanation of any specific harm done by the violation. A zoning inspector will call back to confirm the necessary information and will follow up with enforcement actions.


Q: How will this new ordinance affect homeowners association that do not allow short-term rentals?

A: Under the Code of Virginia, these new regulations do not affect covenants adopted by a homeowners association or condominium association. We have also heard from some HOAs that they would like to amend their covenants to regulate short-term rentals. We have compiled some information that may be helpful. We do not provide legal advice to private associations, and we recommend obtaining the services of a licensed attorney to address this issue.


If you have any comments regarding the proposed ordinances or the information on this page, please contact us at (804) 501-4602, planning@henrico.us or P. O. Box 90775, Henrico, VA 23273.

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4301 East Parham Road
Henrico, VA 23228

(804) 501-4602

(804) 501-4379


Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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