The city of Grapevine is looking to address short-term rentals in town with an ordinance, and the first look was unveiled Nov. 27 in a special meeting held at The Vine Arts and Events Center.

During a special work session with City Council and the planning and zoning commission, both boards discussed a proposed ordinance that looks to address issues within the city because of short-term rentals, which are homes rented out for brief periods of time via websites such as Airbnb or Vrbo.

The two-and-half-hour meeting addressed short-term rentals, proposed zoning changes and outdoor speakers.

The backstory

City documents note there have been short-term rentals in town since 2017, but there has never been a permitted use for those within any zoning district. Larger amounts of traffic, on-street parking issues, noise complaints, littering, calls for emergency services and public nuisance violations are occurring more often at short-term rentals, adding additional burden on the police department, according to City Attorney Matthew Boyle.

"If you look at the provisions in this ordinance you will find it is a blend of other city ordinances, including those within the state of Texas and those beyond state borders,” Boyle said. “Our charge, what we endeavor to do, is to apply those that make the most sense to be suitable to the city of Grapevine.”

Zooming in

Boyle said the city looked at similar short-term rental ordinances for nearly 20 cities, including nearby Dallas and Fort Worth, but also as far away as San Francisco and New York City.

Some of the notable rules in the proposed ordinance include:
  • Single-family short-term rentals are prohibited.
  • Residents can not advertise on a hosting platform or book services for short-term rentals without a valid permit.
  • Short-term rentals will only be allowed in multifamily complexes with at least 50 units.
  • Short-term rentals will not be allowed in any transit district overlay or Historic Grapevine township.
  • The operators of short-term rentals are only allowed to use the property 180 days a year.
  • There cannot be amplified sounds from 10 p.m.-9 a.m.
  • There cannot be outside congregation from 10 p.m.-9 a.m.
The details

Short-term rentals will need to have a conditional use permit, and the owners would have to pay a $500 fee to get the permit—if approved by council. The fee would be good for one year and a renewal would be required to keep renting out space, Boyle said.

Council member Sharron Rogers asked about the proposed $2,000 fine for violation of the short-term use permit and if it could be appealed.

Boyle said a fine could be appealed, which could lead to further delays in the city getting payment for the fine. She suggested forgoing the fine and pulling the permit faster to eliminate court costs.

“I think it gives it some teeth,” council member Duff O’Dell said of the proposed changes. “Losing your permit and paying a fine is a little different.”