Hundreds petition city to allow Airbnb in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) When you visit Airbnb’s website, you’ll find listing after listing in Richmond- something that is actually illegal within city limits. According to zoning laws, Richmonders are not allowed rent out their home, or even a spare room in their home, for less than 30 days.

The ban is causing problems for people hoping to rent out their homes for the UCI Road World Championships in September.

Now, hundreds of people have signed a petition to allow Airbnb to operate in Richmond. 8 News caught up with one of them, who said there is no reason to ban a service that promotes the discovery of Richmond from a local perspective.

“It makes sense; we have to go forward,” said Fiona, a regular host who declined to provide her last name because of legal restrictions on the service. “We can’t go back. The sharing economy is the way to do it. We’ve got a lot of unused spaces, people who are living by themselves- empty nesters, singles. They enjoy interacting with people who stay with them.”

The city is reviewing the matter to determine if changes are needed to its zoning rules. In the meantime, it says the laws must be followed.

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