Details of West Lake Hills' new short-term rental ordinance

After a public hearing Wednesday, West Lake Hills City Council passed a short-term rental ordinance.

After a public hearing Wednesday, West Lake Hills City Council passed a short-term rental ordinance.

Wednesday, the West Lake Hills City Council passed a short-term rental ordinance, completing a process that began a year and a half ago.

“We’ve been at this for quite some time,” Mayor Pro Tem Stan Graham said. “We’ve had several iterations of the short-term rental ordinance, discussed why we did it, discussed how we did it, and we’ve discussed changes to it. We’ve run it through various public meetings, committee meetings.”

The STR committee worked to find a legal balance between concerns raised by the residents in the past and the city’s master plan itself, Councilmember Rhonda McCollough said at a council meeting Oct. 12. McCollough also served on the STR subcommittee.

The STR ordinance:

  • creates a special use permit for STRs, issued by the city administrator;

  • makes those who are not residents of West Lake Hills ineligible to apply for an STR permit with the city, which should limit outside entities from purchasing a home for the sole purpose of running a STR;

  • limits each verified homestead owner to one STR permit, ensuring no homeowner can rent out more than one West Lake Hills property;

  • creates a two-person-per-bedroom limit, and a mandatory two-night minimum stay for STRs;

  • creates penalties for those who advertise or rent out unpermitted homes;

  • requires an STR owner or representative be available by phone at all times in the event of an emergency or a disruption at the rented property;

  • places the same restrictions to the use of short term rentals that are applicable to residential use of a home­­­, including parking restrictions and noise complaints;

  • creates a written complaint process for neighbors who experience and want to report problems with an STR;

  • calls for the revocation of an STR permit after three substantiated complaints are filed against a property, and requires an owner to wait at least 12 months before filing for a new permit; and

  • restricts guest houses from being used as STRs.


Assistant City Attorney Laura Miller said that after ZAPCO reviewed the ordinance, a maximum fine was set at $2,000 for violations. If it is determined that a STR permit holder is operating a bed and breakfast or hotel as defined by city code, the permit could be revoked, she said.


MOST RECENT

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

Baylor Scott & White Pflugerville
Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council to look at downtown safety, homelessness and budgeting in return from meetings break

The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

School starts Aug. 18 at Lake Travis ISD. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lake Travis ISD releases early plans for 2021-22 school year on masks, virtual learning, vaccines

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton addressed plans for the 2021-22 school year in a July 27 letter to the community.

Community Impact Newspaper
Q&A:Northwest Austin Realtor offers tips for today's real estate market

A real estate professional answers some commonly asked questions.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Early voting runs from Oct. 18-29, and election day is Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Rollingwood City Council, tax elections to appear on Nov. 2 ballot

Rollingwood City Council terms are expiring for incumbents Amy Pattillo, Wendi Hundley and Buck Shapiro.

Leander ISD
Leander ISD names 2 new high school principals

Leander ISD trustees approved new principals for Rouse High School and New Hope High School.

Lakeway City Council discussed rising property valuations July 26 during a budget workshop. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lakeway property valuations rise 12% from FY 2020-21

Rising taxable values likely to bring a lower proposed tax rate from city staff.

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.