San Angelo City Council Overrides Planning Commission, Approves the Babiash Short-Term Rental Permit
SAN ANGELO, TX — The City Council overruled the Planning Commission’s decision to deny a permit for Jody and Michele Babiash to operate a Short-Term rental at their home on Lake Nasworthy at 2045 American Legion Rd.
The Babiashs’ application was the first STR to request approval since the enactment of the January 2017 STR ordinance that was not previously an STR before the new law was established.
A five-person panel of the seven member City of San Angelo Planning Commission denied the application in October by a vote of 3-2. The Babiashs appealed to the City Council.
Councilman Harry Thomas noted that the Babiashs were embarking upon a renovation of the old Central Fire Station at 200 S. Magdalen in downtown San Angelo and the extra income from making their lake home an STR will greatly aid them.
But the council seemed to gravitate towards the concept of fairness. Yesterday, the Planning Commission approved another STR. STR opponent Randall Schkade admitted this was true today in front of council. This other STR was approved despite numerous police calls previous to the application. That STR’s owner admitted it too, but said it was not as severe as Schkade portrayed it.
Councilman Lane Carter asked what the standards are for approval of an STR, and do the Babiashs comply?
City Planning Director Jon James confirmed the Babiashs application met the standards.
Near the end of citizens’ comments on the STR approval, former City Councilman Rodney Fleming said that if Council didn’t approve the Babiashs’ application, “Picking and choosing is not fair if they are abiding by the rules.”
The Babiashs’ STR was approved 5-1. Councilman Tommy Hiebert, who represents the district where the proposed STR is located, voted against approval. Councilwoman Lucy Gonzalez was not there.
For more on this issue, see the story about the Babiashs and their planned renovation of the old Central Fire Station in downtown San Angelo, and how the STR was a tool they wanted to use to help finance the venture.