Town Streamlines the Residential Vacation Rental Program

February 2018: In an effort to streamline the highly popular Residential Vacation Rental Program, the Town of Lake Lure has lowered the application fee, shortened the application turnaround time, and returned the Program back to an administrative process rather than a judicial process.

The decision means that most vacation rental applications will be turned around in about two weeks vs. the 30-40 days it took before.

The changes center on shifting the program from a quasi- judicial process to an administrative process.

The overall process will now result in:

  • Lower cost to the applicant
  • Less burden on the Town-Appointed Board of Adjustment
  • More expedient for the applicant and staff
  • Lower cost to the town (in terms of hours spent by staff and appointed officials during review)

Previously, the program operated as such:

  • The application was submitted and the fee was paid to the Code Enforcement Coordinator simultaneously.
  • The Code Enforcement Coordinator reviewed the application and forwarded it to the Board of Adjustment for a hearing.
  • The Board of Adjustment heard the case and made a decision based on the standards in the Zoning Regulations.

From beginning to end, the process took up to 40 days This quasi-judicial proceeding was considerably slower than an administrative process and involved many hours on the part of  staff and appointed officials.

The revised RVR Application process is still similar to the previous process above in that the application and fee are simultaneously paid to the Code Enforcement Coordinator.  However, now, instead of going before the Board of Adjustment, the Code Enforcement Coordinator reviews the application and makes a direct decision based on standards in the Zoning Regulations.

From beginning to end, the process will take about 3-4 days, barring extenuating circumstances, such as a high number of applications in a short time or other staffing demands. Overall, the Town estimates that it will usually take no more than two weeks for a complete turnaround of the application/approval process.

In short, the administrative process will be around two weeks faster than the current quasi-judicial proceeding.

Previously, the fees for the residential vacation rental program were $255. Under the revised program, the fees are now $190

The town based the revisions on several years of administering the program as both an administrative process and as a quasi-judicial process. The data suggested that the town will get the same effective result in a more efficient manner by taking the program back an administrative process as originally adopted.

In shifting it back to an administrative process, staff will no longer have the authority to attach conditions to the application.  However, only a small number have ever had conditions attached by the Board of Adjustment.

The move to change the program was also driven by an anticipated increase to the applications process in 2018, as a result of the World Equestrian Games coming to Tryon, NC in September.