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Virginia General Assembly

Laws change while Virginia sleeps

In January 2016, two bills were introduced into the General Assembly, SB-416 and HB-812, one in the Senate, the other in the House, with one purpose: to open the Commonwealth of Virginia to the expansion of Airbnb and other short-term rentals. This would be achieved by removing authority for zoning ordinances from local authorities, and by nullifying the authority of all homeowners associations (HOA) and covenants. If they passed in their original forms, anyone would be able to do anything with property, anywhere.

It hardly needs to be said that the two bills are opposed by hoteliers and motel operators, the bed-and-breakfast industry, and innkeepers. Sen. Thomas Norment and other...

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