Round Rock looks at short-term rentals ordinance

Houston residents could make a pretty penny by listing their dwelling on AirBnB during Super Bowl LI weekend.

Houston residents could make a pretty penny by listing their dwelling on AirBnB during Super Bowl LI weekend.

The city of Round Rock looked at the possibility of implementing an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals, or STRs, in the city at a workshop May 10.

Round Rock Planning Director Brad Wiseman said the issue was brought to council because neighbors had been complaining about noise from parties emanating from short term rentals or who had noticed the house was being rented on sites such as airbnb.com, which facilitates short term rentals.

Wiseman said the goal is to create an ordinance that provides some level of oversight of the practice.

According to a presentation Wiseman gave to council May 10, an STR is the rental of a bed, room, or entire house on a temporary or transient per night basis. He said short-term rentals are often used in lieu of a hotel or motel. He said business travelers, families, parties and those attending the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals or the F1 race often use STRs.

Wiseman said there are about 20 to 60 available listings in the Round Rock area at any given time spread throughout various neighborhoods and home values. He said the prices range from $23 a night to as high as $439 per night in the city. He said a short-term rental in Round Rock is typically more than $100 per night in the city, and a single or shared room is typically about $30 to $100 per night in the city.

Wiseman said short-term rentals can be found in houses both occupied and not occupied by the owner.

"Staff is reviewing regulatory approaches to both types of short-term rentals, but views non-owner occupied rentals as a larger concern relative to negative impacts on neighborhoods,” he said.

According to the presentation Wiseman gave, city staff recommended an ordinance that would require registration and the issuance of permits for a fee. He said staff recommends inspection upon registration, a minimum and maximum stay allowance, a cap on the number of STRs per street and neighborhood, and to allow them in owner-occupied homes including single family, two-family and townhomes, but not apartments as well as to limit the number of guests.

Following a discussion among council members, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw said he would like to revisit the issue later to allow council members to deliberate on what they would like to see in the ordinance. Wiseman said he will wait for direction from council before writing a potential ordinance.


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