Short-term rentals, opioid settlement up for discussion at West Lake Hills City Council meeting Dec. 8

Changes to short-term rentals and a search for city manager could be on the way for residents of West Lake Hills. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
Changes to short-term rentals and a search for city manager could be on the way for residents of West Lake Hills. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)

Changes to short-term rentals and a search for city manager could be on the way for residents of West Lake Hills. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)

Changes could be on the way for West Lake Hills residents this December. Here are three major issues undergoing discussion and possible action at the West Lake Hills City Council meeting Dec. 8.

Short-term rental application process revision

Council will vote Dec. 8 whether to amend a city ordinance requiring short-term rental applications to go through the board of adjustment before approval, a process allowing residents to comment on the issue before the board. If the revised ordinance passes, short-term rentals will instead go to the city manager for review to expedite the process, according to city documents.

Though the option for public comment would be removed, residents within 300 feet of the proposed short-term rental will be notified of the permit application. If the application is denied, residents applying for a short-term rental permit have the option to repeal the decision to the board of adjustment.

The proposed revision also increases the fees for short-term rental applications from $250 to $500, and the cost of renewal from $250 to $300. The late renewal fee would additionally go from $100 to $150.


After the departure of City Manager Travis Askey in November, Ashby Grundman, director of building and development services for the city, was approved to fill the position until further action was decided by the council.

Proposal to join statewide opioid settlement

The council will vote to decide whether to join other Texas cities in the nationwide multibillion-dollar legal settlement against four major pharmaceutical companies accused of wrongdoing amid the opioid epidemic, according to city documents.

According to state documents, the settlement would allot $17,056 to West Lake Hills. These funds can be used toward a variety of opioid-related relief efforts such as prevention programs or training for first responders to drug-related overdoses.

Texas is among many states that have joined the settlement agreement. McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are the drug distributors involved in the settlement, along with drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. The companies are said to be responsible for reckless marketing and fraudulent distribution of opioids resulting in addictions and overdoses, according to documents issued by the state. Adding in the $290 million settlement Texas is set to receive from Johnson & Johnson, a press release from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated this brings the total settlement for Texas to around $1.5 billion.

Search for city manager

The City Council will hear a proposal concerning the search for a new city manager from the local government recruitment firm City Government Resources. According to documents submitted to the city, the firm is full-service, meaning they handle recruitment, interim placements, training, leadership development and other necessary tasks associated with the hiring process. The firm has around 700 local government clients in 47 states, the documents said.

The meeting will take place Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at West Lake Hills City Hall, located at 911 Westlake Drive. Residents wishing to speak on an issue during the meeting must sign up by 1 p.m. Dec. 8.
By Grace Dickens

Reporter, Lake Travis/Westlake

Grace is the Lake Travis/Westlake reporter for education and city government. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2021 after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and geography.