Monday, November 28, 2022

From food trucks to festivals, here’s what’s on tap at Thursday’s City Council meeting

The City Council meeting Thursday will discuss a variety of hot-button topics from short-term rentals to food trucks.

The meeting will be at 2 pm. at the Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St.

With such complicated and often contentious issues, it can be hard to keep up, so here’s a breakdown of the items:

Short-term Rentals

The meeting’s first public hearing will be to discuss changes in zoning for short-term rentals, which would impact residents wanting to become Airbnb hosts.

The proposed change was first discussed at a City Council work session in April 2018 and later drafted during a planning commission meeting in June 2018 and during meetings in following months.

Since the April meeting, the city’s planning commission, headed by Carolyn Murphy, has drafted a proposal to allow the short-term rents of bedrooms to “transient” visitors and short-term rentals within owner-occupied single-family dwellings, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The draft limits the ordinance to single-family detached dwellings with one bedroom. A maximum time that a dwelling can be rented is for 45 days with a special exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

It was discussed during a meeting in October 2018 that six major streets in the city will be impacted by the change:

  • Capitol Landing Road from Lafayette Street to Queens Creek
  • Henry Street between Lafayette Street and Mimosa Drive
  • Jamestown Road
  • Lafayette Street
  • Page Street and Richmond Road between Brooks Street and Virginia Avenue

Food truck regulations

City Council will vote on regulations that will define a food truck and consider new district regulations that might give food trucks more freedom within city limits.

Currently, food trucks are limited to operating (with a zoning permit) on private property along Capital Landing Road, or in conjunction with a special event on public property.

With the new proposal, food trucks would need a 100-foot restaurant buffer requirement in certain zoning districts. This means a food truck must park at least 100 feet away from an existing restaurant when serving outside of private events.

In addition, for the food truck to be allowed, at least 75 percent of the current restaurant owners within the immediate area must agree to allow the food truck.

The proposal would also allow food trucks in residential zoned areas of Williamsburg at two special events each year and require a fire department inspection prior to issuing a business license and on everyday of operation.

Tourism Promotion Contingency Fund

Council will consider and possibly approve an award of $25,000 from the Tourism Promotion Contingency Fund to the Virginia Arts Festival.

The Virginia Arts Festival will be celebrating its 23rd year in the city with Williamsburg Fest 2019. The event was formerly known as Funhouse Fest, which was produced by Bruce Hornsby. In November Hornsby, announced he was no longer working with the festival, meaning he would also no longer be assisting with the artist procurement fees.

The $25,000 is needed to help secure a second headlining act for the nearly 8,000 people expected to attend. The grant would deplete the $250,000 Tourism Promotion Contingency Fund but staff had recommended its approval to help maintain a high level of success for the festival this year.

Tour guide licensing process

City staff have suggested modifying tour guide testing requirements from a mandatory to voluntary. The change comes after looking at current challenges to tour guide testing requirements in other jurisdictions, according to the agenda.

Tour guides who complete the voluntary testing process will be shown as a certified tour guide on the city’s website.


The city will vote on renewing the five-year recycling contract with the Virginia Peninsula Public Service Authority, which is set to expire in June.

VPPSA has worked with four jurisdictions in the area since 1991 as contracted curbside recycling services. VPPSA has accepted a proposal from TFC to execute a contract but because of the new restrictions and bans on sustainability from China, recycling costs will increase.

The new contract will increase the cost from $1.58 per customer to $3.75 per customer. The increase will raise the new contract to $205,000 per year.

Also on the agenda

Fourth Amended Memorandum of Understanding between the Williamsburg City Council and the Williamsburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority.

Appointments to Boards and Commissions.

To view the full agenda, click here.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

Related Articles