San Marcos City Council is poised to endorse proposed updates to the city’s short-term rental ordinance.

What you need to know

One of the proposed changes to San Marcos’ ordinance is to remove the requirement that a short-term rental permit holder live on the property.

Greg Carr, director of neighborhood enhancement, said the ordinance only requires permits for homes that are in single-family zoning; however, over the years, the code has changed, and many new developments are no longer receiving that single-family designation.

The ordinance looks to create two types:
  • Type 1: short-term rentals in single-family residential neighborhoods
  • Type 2: short-term rentals located in commercial neighborhoods
Each Type 1 short-term rental has to be 660 feet away from other rentals, and the owner has to notify their neighbors. Type 2 does not require the owner to notify their neighbors and does not limit the number of short-term rentals that are near one another.

Carr noted existing, permitted short-term rentals would not be affected by the ordinance.

“The person that has a good rental or wants to do a good thing—it really doesn’t affect [them],” Carr said.

How we got here

The city is looking to update its short-term rental ordinance due to case law that came down in 2022 and 2023.

An appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana determined a short-term rental did not have to be occupied by the owner. Another case ruling in Austin ruled parts of Austin's short-term rental ordinance were unconstitutional.

One more thing

Carr said the city is working to implement a new software program—Host Compliance—which should make it easier for individuals to apply for short-term rental permits.

What’s next?

The ordinance will come back for a second and final reading April 2.