The ordinance cited the city’s zoning ordinance that does not allow the use of property zoned residential to be used for transient, short-term stays for less than 30 days. It also cited the numerous complaints that code enforcement, police and council members have received from residents about STRs.
“We’re making this decision to protect our neighborhoods, but we’re not taking away your personal property rights,” said Council Member Elizabeth Beck. “You have the right to petition the City Council just like any other zoning case.”
Council Member Carlos Flores echoed Beck’s concern about STRs affecting the very essence of residential areas.
“People live in neighborhoods. They don’t do business in neighborhoods,” Flores said. “It’s a quality-of-life issue.”
According to the ordinance, STRs are only allowed in specific areas and would need to be registered by the property owner. These include commercial or industrial areas as well as mixed-use areas that include both commercial properties and residential properties. STRs will not be allowed in areas zoned exclusively for residential use.
Registration would cost $150 for one year. Should owners desire to operate beyond one year, they would be required to reapply every year and pay a $100 renewal fee with each annual application.
Several speakers voiced their opposition to the city’s stance on STRs and said that council should allow them with less restrictions.
Michael Mayes, a broker for Red Team Real Estate and property manager who has lived in Fort Worth for 40 years, mentioned a few reasons why people would use STRs.
“[Going to] the stock show, adopting a baby, home renovations and TCU football,” he said his company had seen over the past 90 days.
He also stated that since 2011 when Fort Worth began allowing STRs, very few instances of crime have occurred. Mayes said that, in his experience, he’s seen more problems at long-term rentals.
“I worked with Fort Worth police on a long-term rental and helped them discover guns and drugs in a rent house right near Dickies Arena,” he said. “These are problems around people, not short-term rentals.”
While council approved the ordinance restricting STRs unanimously, Mayor Maddie Parker didn’t shut the door on talking about the issue in the future.
“The city of Fort Worth is, of course, watching this closely,” Parker said. “We’re not done listening. We understand this is an evolving issue not just for Fort Worth, but for the entire country.”