City employees with both the planning and code compliance departments shared updated recommendations for rules on short-term rentals with council June 1. A short-term rental includes rooms, whole houses, condominiums and apartments that rent daily or weekly for less than 30 days, according to the city. Providers such as Airbnb and Vrbo allow tourists to book lodging online.
Council members are scheduled to vote on regulations in September, according to the city’s presentation. Before that vote, the Dallas Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee will review the recommended rules later this month. The city plan commission will then hold a public hearing over the matter in July before council members review the proposed rules once more in August.
Several nuances over short-term rentals were discussed during the June 1 meeting. That discussion followed a previous one council members had in May. Council members offered differing recommendations over how to regulate short-term rentals. However, most signaled support for placing some form of regulation over rental properties to minimize disturbances around single-family homes and to better collect required hotel occupancy taxes.
Julia Ryan, the city's director of planning and urban design, asked council to consider distinguishing rental properties occupied by homeowners from properties vacant of homeowners that are intended for full-time use as a short-term rental.
Two models of regulation were considered by council members. The first model would allow owner-occupied short-term rentals anywhere, while vacant rental properties would only be allowed in multifamily zoning and other areas away from single-family zones. The second model would allow any kind of short-term rentals in all zones.
In addition, a variety of rules were recommended by the city’s code department. The rules included minimum required distance between short-term rentals, notification to neighbors when a rental property is registered and a three-strike process that would lead to a rental license being revoked.
Council Member Paula Blackmon said she wants to maintain stable neighborhoods through regulations and urged city staff to streamline the process of registration for short-term rental owners.
“There's really no enforcement, and it's the Wild West,” Blackmon said. “I think we need to get some kind of something in writing so everybody understands what the rules are. Otherwise, the rules are open to interpretation.”
The full presentation given June 1 can be downloaded and reviewed here.