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STR Ordinances

 

The purpose of the STR Ordinance is to establish regulations for the use of privately owned dwellings as Short Term Rentals, to minimize negative ancillary impact on surrounding properties, and to ensure the collection and payment of Hotel Occupancy Taxes.

 

The City of Fredericksburg defines Short-Term Rentals (STRs) as a privately owned dwelling, including but not limited to, a single family dwelling, multiple family attached dwelling, apartment house, condominium, duplex, mobile home, or any portion of such dwellings, rented by the public for consideration, and used for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes for any period less than thirty (30) days.

A Short-Term Rental Permit must be issued by the City of Fredericksburg authorizing the use of a privately owned dwelling as a Short-Term Rental.

2024 Ordinance

Adopted - January 1, 2024

Below is a summary of the most notable changes from past ordinances to the 2024 ordinance.

 

Zoning: 

  • R2 zoning to be treated similar to R1 (no new unoccupied, no new facilities) 

  • No new STR-Condominium 

  • R3- no type of STR allowed 

  • Special Exceptions will be handled by Zoning Board of Adjustments instead of Conditional Use Permits by City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission 

  • Special Exceptions available for:

    • R1 and R2 Unoccupied “stranded properties” must share two property lines with STR-unoccupied or C2, CBD zoning or Pubic Facility Zoning excluding schools, and 50% of other properties within 200’ radius must have STR unoccupied permit or C2, CBD or Public Facility zoning to be able to apply for the Special Exception.

    • Expanding occupancy or parking requirement exception.

    • STR on first floor in historic shopping district

 

Permits:

  • Can be transferred within 90 days of sale of property. 

  • Non-conforming or “grandfathered” permits may continue to operate and transfer.

  • Inspections: yearly for renewal and upon transfer or after modifications, or violations

  • Parking: One (1) space required per bedroom. Tandem parking is allowed. On-street parking is still allowed, but no credit given towards minimum requirements. 

  • Max occupancy of 12 (guests of any age count towards occupancy).

Enforcement:

  • 3 Minor Violations (such as watering, trash, advertising, lighting) count as 1 Major Violation.

  • 3 Major Violations (related to health and safety, occupancy, noise, a failure to update application information, an unresponsive 24-hour contact, non-remittance of hotel occupancy tax, unlawful advertisements, and operations without a permit) within 12 months will require City Council review and permit may be suspended for up to 90 days. 

  • Lack of Hotel Occupancy Tax remittance results in 90-day suspension of permit.

Click here to read the 2024 STR FAQ's and Fact Sheet provided by city officials.

Click below to view and/or download a copy

2022 Ordinance

Adopted - April 1, 2022

The 2022 Ordinance reflects some of the most sweeping changes regarding STR operations here in Fredericksburg. We will continue to update this section with details pertaining to strictly the 2022 Ordinance. However, with the exception of Occupancy and Parking, all STR units now fall under the rules and restrictions lined out in the 2024 Ordinance (above).

Occupancy:

Page 79 of the 2022 Ordinance

(Exhibit M, page 1 of 5)

Maximum occupancy for a short term rental shall be limited to two Occupants per bedroom, plus two (2) additional Occupants, (e.g., A three (3) bedroom home may be permitted for a maximum of (8) eight guests), but in no case shall maximum occupancy exceed a combined total of twelve (12) Occupants.

 

Maximum occupancy under the 2022 STR Ordinance is only applicable to guests EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER that are renting the temporary transient lodging for a specified period of occupancy and excludes any other persons visiting the Occupants at the location of the temporary transient lodging.

Parking:

​One (1) OFF-STREET parking spot required per BEDROOM. Additional on-street parking allowed with 22' of lot frontage.

Click here to read the 2022 STR FAQ's and Fact Sheet provided by city officials.

Click below to view and/or download a copy

2018 Ordinance

Adopted - April 1, 2018

If your STR property was originally permitted prior to April 1, 2022, and the permit has been maintained in good standing, your property is defined in city documents as NON-CONFORMING (AKA Grandfathered)​. Beginning January 1, 2024, the only details in the 2018 Ordinance that are still followed for Non-Conforming STR units are the following:

Occupancy:

​Maximum occupancy for a short-term rental under the 2018 STR Ordinance was established to follow fire code. Occupancy shall be limited to one occupant, per 200 SqFt of floor space. NOTE: When considering square footage and sleeping arrangements. A bedroom must be a minimum of 70 SqFt for one person and an additional 50 SqFt for each additional occupant.

Parking:

​One (1) OFF-STREET parking spot required per STR UNIT. Additional on-street parking allowed with 22' of lot frontage.

Pool and Hot Tub Setbacks:

​Properties with pools and hot tubs, permitted under the 2018 Ordinance, do not have to meet the current setback rules. However, they must come in to compliance regarding fences and gates.

Click below to view and/or download a copy

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Success is in the Details

Depending on the version of ordinance you are reading you will find some slight and some substantial differences in what is and is not allowed.

 

To protect yourself and your rights you MUST KNOW the ordinance year your property was ORIGINALY PERMITTED under. Once you are confident of your original permit year you can then move forward with the requirements for your STR unit.


Below are some of the "HOT TOPICS" touched on in each of the ordinances, 2018 through to 2024. 

You will want to ensure your STR unit follows each of the rules or regulations mentioned below. Keep in mind, these are merely some of the "hot topics." There are additional criteria that must be met. Refer to the Inspection Checklist provided by the City of Fredericksburg for more detailed information.

Occupancy

Noise

To determine proper occupancy limits, you must first know what year your STR is permitted under. 

 

  • 2024 STR Ordinance - 2 per bedroom, plus 2 – max of 12 guests, all ages

  • 2022 STR Ordinance - 2 per bedroom, plus 2 – max of 12 guests, age 18 or older

  • 2018 STR Ordinance - 200 sq ft per person

Parking

To determine parking limitations, you must first know what year your STR is permitted under. 

 

  • 2024 STR Ordinance - One off-street parking spot per bedroom, tandem is allowed.

  • 2022 STR Ordinance - One off-street parking spot per bedroom. 

  • 2018 STR Ordinance - One off-street parking spot per unit.

Trash & Solid Waste

Page 80 of the 2022 Ordinance

(Exhibit M, page 2 of 5)

 

Each STR shall provide a minimum of one (1) ninety-six gallon (96 gal) bulk garbage container capacity, or equivalent, for every six (6) occupants, based on the maximum permitted occupancy for the STR.

  • This subsection shall apply to all new and existing STRs.

  • This requirement does not apply to those properties that utilize commercial trash pickup or dumpsters.

Residential garbage collection is provided once weekly. Your garbage should be placed at your designated curb location for pickup by 7:00 am. Please make certain the arrow is pointing toward the street (wheels to the curb). If your collection day falls on a holiday, it will be picked up as usual.

Page 80 of the 2022 Ordinance

(Exhibit M, page 2 of 5)

Quiet Hours: 10:00 pm to 7:00 am

Max 55 dB

This is equivalent to a dishwasher running or a coffeemaker percolating. The average quiet two-person conversation is 60+ dB

 

Each STR use shall have one or more signs posted in prominent locations in the rear yard, near pools, hot tubs, and fire pits, and near other common gathering areas, providing the occupants and guests with notice of the Nighttime Hours, as set forth in Section 20-207 of the City's Noise and Sound Level Regulation ordinance.

Water Conservation

Water use is dependent upon what DROUGHT STAGE we are in. Follow link above to stay aware and adjust your watering schedule appropriately.

Please consider Registering with Sensus Analytics to monitor the water usage at your property.

Follow this link for more details regarding water usage. BE AWARE - It is not uncommon for sprinkler systems to reset themselves after a power outage. This could result in you receiving a fine for watering on the incorrect day or time.

Outdoor Lighting

Page 79 of the 2022 Ordinance

(Exhibit M, page 1 of 5)

All external lighting shall comply with the City's Outdoor Lighting ordinance set forth in Article XV of Chapter 5 (Buildings and Building Regulations) of the City Code of Ordinances.

 - Requirements set forth in the International Dark Sky Association community guidelines. 

Offenses

Revocable Offenses

Can I lose my permit?

Upon conviction for a violation of this Section 5.401 (Beginning on page 79 of the 2022 Ordinance), the City Manager may suspend or revoke any Short Term Rental Permit issued for the same Short Term Rental where the violation occurred.

 

Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, the City Manager MAY NOT suspend or revoke any Short Term Rental Permit for convictions related to

  • the City Noise and Sound Level Regulation Ordinances (Article VI of Chapter 20)

  • the City Sign ordinances (Chapter 29)

  • the City Garbage Collection ordinances (Chapter 32)

  • the City Outdoor Lighting ordinances (Article XV of Chapter 5)

  • or the City Water Conservation ordinances (Article II of Chapter 47)

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