Home Sharing (AirBNB, VRBO, etc)

On Monday, December 11, 2023, the City Council adopted Ordinance number 3204 which defined short-term rentals in the City and prohibited said use in dwellings and/or dwelling units.  This includes any rental of a period 90 days or less and also prohibits the advertisement of any said rental in any way.  A copy of this ordinance may be obtained at this link:  CLICK HERE

Currently, the City of Vestavia Hills has no approvals nor has the City issued any business licence for any home sharing business including AirBNB, VRBO, etc., located in the corporate limits.


Below is a background of this type of business prior to the adoption of Ordinance number 3204.

Due to today’s trending of home sharing businesses in the City which are listed on various websites including, but not limited to AirBnB’s, VRBO, etc., the City Council formed a committee headed by George Pierce, Councilor and Kimberly Cook, Councilor to study the trending issue and determine if changes needed to be made in the various City codes. A report was compiled, a copy of which may be obtained by clicking the following link: CLICK HERE

The conclusions of the City Council were as follows;

    • The City of Vestavia Hills Zoning Code currently prohibits home sharing businesses to operate in areas zoned as single-family, as they do not qualify for a “home occupation”.
    • If an owner wishes to begin home sharing, he must successfully obtain a “conditional use approval”. A conditional use approval takes, on average, 4 months and a minimum of two public hearings. In order to apply, a property owner must do the following:
      • Review any and all private restrictive covenants that might be recorded against the subject property. Most subdivisions have restrictive covenants that limit use to “single family uses only”. If there is an existing covenant on your property that limits the use to single-family, this covenant must be dissolved either by Jefferson County Courts or any other remedy afforded in the recorded covenants. Please note, the City does not have a copy of your recorded covenants. These are generally given to a property owner at closing.
      • If there are no restrictive covenants that prohibit the use, then complete an application found on the City Clerk’s page entitled “Conditional Use Approval”;
      • Detail the parameters of your proposed home sharing business in a letter and attached to the application;
      • Submit the application, parameters letter, and a statement regarding the status of any restrictive covenants to the Office of the City Clerk, Planning Department, along with a $100 application fee.
      • The application will be reviewed by the Zoning Staff and if it is complete, notification to property owners within 500′ of the boundaries of the property will be notified by regular and certified mail (approximately $8 per notice). The applicant must pay all postage costs. The matter will be heard in a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission. The recommendation of the Commission will be taken and about 6 weeks later, following another 500′ notification (with postage costs), the matter will be presented to the City Council. The applicant will again be responsible for all postage costs.
      • If the conditional use is approved, it is location and owner specific. The owner is responsible for obtaining business licenses and collection and remittance of all lodging taxes, and installation/upgrading residence to use as a lodge including, but not limited to the installation of a sprinkler system when the entire residence is rented out.

For any further questions regarding home sharing businesses, please email the City Clerk at rleavings@vhal.org