By Lindsay Marchello
The debate over short-term rentals in Raleigh has continued for a couple of years without a clear solution. Brent Woodcox is special counsel to the General Assembly and former co-chair of the city’s short-term rental task force. He created Share Raleigh, a political action committee focusing on the debate over short-term rentals. Woodcox sat down with CJ Associate Editor Lindsay Marchello to discuss his project and the future of short-term rentals in the city. The complete interview will appear in the October Carolina Journal.
Marchello: How did you get involved with the short-term rental debate?
Woodcox: I follow city issues pretty closely. and this one for me just struck a chord because of the nature of property rights and neighborhoods. I’ve bought three homes in the last five years … and so just the real estate market and what is happening in Raleigh is really interesting to me. I saw this issue and I thought, man there’s gotta be something that can be done. This isn’t as hard as it’s being made out to be. So the city decided to put forth a task force and we’ve been going on for about two years now. The city just can’t come up with any kind of response, so they put together a task force, and the mayor asked me to be a part of it.
When I got there I volunteered, questionably, to be one of the co-chairs … . We had about 12 meetings over the course of three or four months and we hammered out a proposal. There was a lot of disagreement about what the priorities should be, and there was agreement on what we need to get in an ordinance. Basically, that is something that makes Raleigh an open place and a place people want to visit and can enjoy the experience while they are here but doesn’t disrupt the character or integrity of our current neighborhoods. We put together as a task force an ordinance that did that and, unfortunately, there just wasn’t the political will to go forward with that with the current council. I’m a person who has been involved with elections on the state level but never in city elections before, but I thought, what can I do to make sure this issue isn’t forgotten, and the task force recommendations don’t get put aside. I thought, well I’ll start a political action committee and I can try and draw attention to this issue and make sure that candidates who are running take it seriously and they have a position, and the voters in Raleigh have a right to know what their position is, and hopefully we can help educate the voters on what they think. ...