Controversy surrounding short-term rentals continues in Historic Downtown


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Short-term rentals have been a hot button issue in Downtown Wilmington over the last few months, and now the city is working on an ordinance to change the way vacation rentals work.

With websites like VRBO and Airbnb, vacation rentals are becoming more and more popular across the Cape Fear, raising concerns with some residents.

“Well I’m afraid the short term rentals are going to ruin the neighborhoods,” resident Gail Massey said.

Others say short-term rentals give them a source of income and help with tourism.

David Billitto, owner of Suites on Front said it’s the new way of doing things.

“It’s a generational thing,” Billitto said. “And if you look for the most part if you look at the age spectrum of people that oppose this versus the age spectrum of the people that engage with it, it’s quite different. There’s a big gap there.”

This is an ongoing debate that has the city working to find a balance.

“It’s obviously a hot topic issue in our community as it should be,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “So we’re looking forward to working together and hopefully coming up with a very good ordinance that all of our citizens will hopefully like.”

The city council listened to input from other city leaders from across the state Monday to hear how their short-term rentals work. They hope to take what they have learned from their ordinances and figure out what will work for Historic Downtown.

Mayor Saffo said they hope to have an ordinance in place within the next few months.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover, News

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