Ocean View moves to limit rental occupancy, require parking

Last week, the Ocean View Town Council introduced a proposed ordinance to amend the town code to establish an occupancy limit for rental properties within the town.

“The town council is desirous of providing for the welfare and happiness of its residents by limiting the number of occupants in single-family, semidetached, duplex, townhouse and multifamily dwellings used for residential rentals,” reads the ordinance, “in order to preserve and protect Ocean View from the adverse impacts of overcrowding such as inadequate parking.”

Property owners are responsible for ensuring that their rental properties comply with all applicable codes, such as fire, building, health and safety.

According to the proposed ordinance, “The overnight occupancy of a residential rental shall not exceed the sum of two persons per bedroom plus an additional two persons. Children under the age of six years shall not be counted towards the overall number of occupants” and the property owner “shall provide 1.75 parking spaces for each bedroom.”

As an example, if a home has three bedrooms, a total of six people (excluding children younger than 6) can stay in the home. The homeowner would also be required to provide at least 5.25 parking spaces for the property.

Additionally, the property owner will be required to provide adequate waste and recycle services.

There is no proposed change to the violations and penalties portion of the “Licenses” chapter of the town code. As it currently reads, “Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter or fails to comply with its provisions shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 and the costs and expenses of prosecution. Each day such a violation exists constitutes a separate offense punishable by like fine or penalty.”

The proposed ordinance came on the heels of a discussion of allowing for hotel/lodging within the Town’s designated Mixed-Use Planned Communities (MXPC) zone, through the granting of special exceptions.

Attorney Mark F. Dunkle, representing Bob Thornton of Silverstock LLC, presented the idea to the council at two separate council meetings, noting that numerous homes were being rented within town limits, with some advertising that they could sleep 10 to 15 people.

The proposed ordinance was introduced at the Feb. 12 town council meeting by Councilman Frank Twardzik. There will be two official readings of the proposed ordinance, and the public may comment on the proposed ordinance prior to council voting on its adoption.


By Maria Counts

Staff Reporter