After passing an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals in January, Lewisville has enacted a one-year ban on any new short-term rentals.

During the Feb. 19 council meeting, Mayor TJ Gilmore cast the deciding vote that enacted the one-year ban due to a tie.
  • William Meridith, Patrick Kelly and Brandon Jones voted in favor of the temporary ban.
  • Bob Troyer, Ronnie Cade and Kristin Green voted against the temporary ban.
In his three years as mayor, this is the first time Gilmore voted to break a tie, he said.

The background

During a Jan. 8 meeting, council passed regulations that would go into effect July 8 that include such things as defining what a short-term rental is, defining property managers and permit fees.

The city began tracking short-term rentals in January 2020. There has been a 158% increase since then, according to documents.

The one-year ban allows the city more time to look at the impacts of short-term rentals and the permitting process. Existing short-term rental properties can continue to do business until having to go through the permitting process in July.

“For me, whether it is a six-month or a year prohibition, I think we need to get our feet underneath us as a city and make sure we are handling both sides of the issue as calmly and rationally as we possibly can,” Gilmore said. “But my take is, we would be doing a disservice to the entirety of the property rights issue if we didn’t take a breather and give ourselves some time, which we have done in the city, we’ve done in north end development—not in the same way. We use the tools in our tool kit to just buy a little time to provide the right solution. It goes wrong when we don’t give ourselves time to get it right.”

The details

Members of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition spoke during the public comment portion of the public hearing, while many others sat together wearing "Homes Not Hotels" T-shirts.

Some of the issues raised by speakers included loud noises from parties, trash issues and parking issues.

On the other side of the debate, local Realtor Brent Myers spoke on behalf of the Greater Lewisville Association of Realtors.

"The concern is that you have out-of-state owners, these big corporations that are buying these properties, [but] we've found through different studies that typically the majority are [a] locally owned mom-and-pop who are just trying to increase their income,” Myers said.

Myers said some people who might find short-term rentals appealing include families with homes undergoing remodeling or renovations, or someone who is transferred for a job in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and needs a temporary place to stay while looking for a house.

“We understand why people want regulations; no one wants a party house next to them, but that is why organizations like Airbnb and Vrbo need to start kicking the bad apples out,” Myers said.

What they’re saying

Cade addressed social media comments about the fairness of her voting on the matter. Cade said she has a cabin on the back of her property that she has rented out as a short-term rental, but has not done so since 2022.

“I’m able to look at it being somebody that has operated a [short-term rental] and the pitfalls in it,” she said. “I think the ordinance is extremely balanced. It looks at all areas. However, banning and restricting owners' right to their property is a very slippery slope and one that I take extremely serious.”