Short Term Rental (STR) Policies

If you are thinking about renting out your house, an accessory structure, or one or more rooms in your house on a short-term basis (i.e., fewer than 90 days), here are some things you need to know:

  • In York County, short-term rentals (STRs) fall into the category of either tourist homes or bed and breakfast inns (B&Bs). The distinction between the two is that in a B&B, breakfast is provided in addition to overnight accommodations, and the property owner is required to live on the premises or in adjacent premises.
  • Tourist homes and B&Bs are permitted as a matter of right in the LB (Limited Business) and GB (General Business) zoning districts. In residential zoning districts – RC, RR, R33, R20, R13, and RMF – they are permitted only upon the issuance of a Special Use Permit by the Board of Supervisors. Special Use Permits are a special privilege granted by the Board under a specific set of circumstances and conditions, and each application and situation is unique. The Special Use Permit process typically takes between two and three months. It requires two advertised public hearings, and a non-refundable application fee of $450.
  • STRs in residential districts must have the appearance of a single-family detached home and normal accessory residential structures.
  • In residential districts, off-street parking associated with an STR must be effectively screened by landscaping from view from adjacent residential properties and cannot be located in any required front yard area.
  • One freestanding, non-illuminated sign, not exceeding four (4) square feet in area, may be permitted to identify the STR.
  • The maximum number of guests will be determined by the Board of Supervisors based on the density and character of the area and the size and characteristics of the proposed site.
  • STRs are subject to the state sales tax as well as the 5% County transient occupancy tax and $2.00 per night room tax. The proprietor of any such establishment is required to obtain a County business license, establish a County transient occupancy tax account, and file with the Virginia Department of Taxation for a Virginia State Sales Tax account. For more details, visit the Commissioner of the Revenue webpage

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR A SPECIAL USE PERMIT TO OPERATE A SHORT-TERM RENTAL, PLEASE CONTACT THE YORK COUNTY PLANNING DIVISION AT (757) 890-3404 OR BY EMAIL AT PLANNING@YORKCOUNTY.GOV, OR VISIT OUR OFFICE IN THE YORK COUNTY ADMINISTRATION CENTER AT 224 BALLARD STREET IN YORKTOWN.