San Angelo Reconsiders Short Term Rentals
SAN ANGELO, TX - The legality of short-term rentals under City of San Angelo ordinance goes before city council today. This is the city council’s second attempt to create clarity in their response to the sharing economy.
The Economist defines the sharing economy as “on the Internet, everything is for hire.” Including the ability to rent your residential home to strangers.
Short-term rentals are one or two-day rentals, sometimes over a weekend, where a homeowner places a residential dwelling up for “rent” on sharing websites like AirBnB.com. The convenience of making spare change has encouraged a small cottage industry of real estate investors to purchase homes expressly for the purpose of renting them via short-term rental websites.
The STR has one problem. The neighbors don’t want a commercial enterprise operating next to them.
On Aug. 2, facing a room full of protestors generally against allowing STRs, the city council unintentionally punted on the issue, and, according to some, effectively banned STRs. The current city code forbids rentals in residential zoned areas of less than 30-days unless that property can fall under bed and breakfast definitions.
A bed and breakfast must have the owner-operator on-premises, a feature AirBnB.com renters do not do.
The ordinance failed 3-4 because some on council who are in favor of allowing STRs thought the new regulations in the proposed ordinance onerous. Particularly, Councilman Harry Thomas and Charlotte Farmer expressed support of STRs, but voted against the ordinance.
How the two will vote today is not known.
Today, Planning & Development Services Director Jon James presents a revised proposed ordinance with an additional provision that the city’s licensing of a STR property only last two years. After two years, the property must be recertified. According to James, this allows residents living nearby to lobby the city to protest the renewal based upon the behavior of the property owner’s STR tenants. The provision is called “conditional use.”
James said he met with all parties in opposition to STRs and STR owners to hammer out the additional provision.
At the Aug. 2 city council meeting, however, the objection seemed to be confusion over the extra regulation defining and regulating an STR. The proposed ordinance will add an additional restriction.
Mayor Dwain Morrison, who is in favor of allowing STRs, believes the ordinance previously failed because council members generally in favor of allowing STRs did not fully understand STRs are illegal under existing code.
Here is where the council stood before the Aug. 2 vote:
|Council Member||Short-Term Rentals||Voted to Legalize STRs|