Georgetown City Council to not regulate short-term rentals

Georgetown City Council provides direction to not regulate short term rentals. (Courtesy City of Georgetown)
Georgetown City Council provides direction to not regulate short term rentals. (Courtesy City of Georgetown)

Georgetown City Council provides direction to not regulate short term rentals. (Courtesy City of Georgetown)

After hearing city staff recommendations, the Georgetown City Council provided direction to not regulate short-term rentals during its city workshop meeting on April 27.

An STR is a unit rented for less than a month and is usually booked online, Georgetown Economic Development Director Michaela Dollar said. She added that despite the pandemic, the use of STRs has been growing rapidly increasing from 8% in total lodging revenue in 2019 to 25% in 2020.

Staff provided four recommendations of how to regulate the STRs, from no regulation to high regulation.

Dollar recommended that the city consider regulating STRs as it would help preserve the community’s character and help recover lost revenue from the non-regulation. Cari Miller, Georgetown’s Convention and Visitors Bureau tourism manager, added that non-regulation cost the city approximately $90,000 in added revenue.

Currently, the city is only able to regulate STRs via noise ordinances, occupancy limits and a parking ordinances, city officials said.


Dollar added that staff research could not link most noise complaints to STRs.

“We are trying to create something now for a problem that does not currently exist,” Council Member Kevin Pitts said. “I don’t know if it’s even worth our time at this point. We don’t need to overregulate just because we can.”

Based on recommendations, Council decided to direct staff to provide locations of STRs to help dictate any possible action in the future, but at the moment no action will be taken, Mayor Josh Schroeder said.

STRs are not required to register with the city, but are able to be located based on hotel occupancy tax collection, Miller said.

As of April 27, only 29 STRs are paying a hotel occupancy tax, but there is an estimated 124 STRs in Georgetown with most starting in the last year, Miller added.
By Fernanda Figueroa

Reporter, Georgetown

Fernanda joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2021 after graduating from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a second major in political science. Fernanda covers education, local government, non profits and business for the city of Georgetown. Prior to CI, Fernanda worked as a reporter for The Rider, UTRGV's weekly student newspaper and served as a media relations intern for UTRGV Athletics.