CAPE CHARLES: Mayor sells his short-term rental as issue simmers

EASTERN SHORE POST/TED SHOCKLEY A sign that advocates for limiting short-term rentals is displayed in Cape Charles. An April 29 town hall meeting will be held about the issue.

BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

The mayor of Cape Charles has sold a property in town that is already booked all summer as a short-term rental, a property use under increasing criticism from town residents.

First-term Mayor Adam Charney confirmed in a telephone interview that he sold the property March 29 — seven days after residents overwhelmingly said during a town meeting that controlling short-term rentals should be a bigger town priority.

Charney did not disclose during the meeting that he owned a short-term rental in town through a limited liability company, or LLC, or that he was planning to sell it.

During the meeting he also disputed that the proliferation of rentals is a “problem,” instead calling it an “issue,” even though residents said the rentals squeeze available parking spaces, rob a feeling of community from entire municipal blocks, and are prompting residents to leave town.

He also said his ownership of a short-term rental did not constitute a conflict of interest with his elected role and that the possibility of the town limiting short-term rentals did not influence his decision to sell.

“It was for totally other reasons outside of everything going on,” he said.

The sale comes as residents are putting a bigger spotlight on the issue of short-term rentals. Yard signs around town call on the town council to “limit” the STRs.

A town hall meeting will be held on April 29 at 6 p.m. at the civic center to hear comment on the issue.

Property records show Pengar Ventures LLC, owned by Charney, sold the home at 204 Mason Ave., for $875,000.

He bought the 1,792-square-foot home, built in 1925, less than two years ago for $750,000.

Charney said the property, named “Key Lime Cottage,” will continue to be used as a short-term rental under new ownership.

He and his wife remain listed as the property manager on, a vacation rental website.

The website shows the home is rented throughout June, July, and August. Its April rate is $309 nightly.

Charney, who is a mortgage banker, said he has not issued a mortgage on a short-term rental in Cape Charles.

A committee last year assisted the town manager in forming proposed short-term rental regulations on which the planning commission and town council never acted.

The committee recommeded capping the number of short-term rentals operating in town and using the total square footage of a home to determine occupancy.

The April 29 meeting was called after “some public confusion” and “a sense of anxiety over what’s going to happen next,” according to an announcement from the town.

“Once we’ve heard more from the community about this topic, staff will get back to work refining the ideas presented last fall for continued public review,” the town announcement stated.

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