By Marty Gordon
In the Christiansburg Town Council’s first meeting of the year, the issue of temporary home rentals in town has been put on hold after several Airbnb owners complained about a planned ordinance that would limit the maximum amount of rental days to 90 days per year.
Airbnb is a global online rental company that lets people rent out property or spare rooms.
There are an estimated 89 Airbnb properties in Christiansburg and more than 340 listed in Montgomery County.
Council members agreed to discuss the matter in a work session on January 17 with a possible vote at the following council meeting slated for January 22.
Although the town has held several public hearings and planning meetings over the last three months, this week, several Airbnb owners said were unaware of the plans to enact a 90-day limit.
Town manager Randy Wingfield explained that the maximum is similar to those followed by neighboring localities like Blacksburg, which established a limiting regulation two years ago.
The Blacksburg ordinance also requires each Airbnb register with the town and sets conditions on the length of stay.
At the heart of the debate is criticism by hotels, motels and bed-and breakfasts that are required to pay both food and motel tax to the towns.
Linda Wurtzburger who operates the Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Christiansburg told council that all she and others want is a level playing field.
“They (Airbnbs) are unregulated hosts, and it’s hard to…