The prohibition of new short-term rentals in most residential zoning districts and a registration program set to take effect later this year in Plano marks the end of a process that dates back to November 2022.

Over that time period, city staff and Plano City Council received regular updates before giving ultimately unanimous approval for new zoning regulations and a registration program for short-term rental operators within the city during the April 22 meeting.

The context

Throughout the study of short-term rentals by staff and the city’s short-term rental task force, there has been a focus on thorough data collection using services provided by Deckard Technologies and public vetting, Director of Planning Christina Day said. To allow time for a study while capping existing short-term rentals, the city adopted a one-year interim ban that was set to expire May 15.

During the task force’s study of rentals, it formulated three overall principles to guide further action and 32 recommendations that were presented to the planning and zoning commission in addition to council members after the first and second phases. Day said regulations in 24 Texas cities and 37 municipalities outside of Texas were studied to develop policies.

“We vetted those to make sure they were Texas worthy, and we sent out a list of options to the task force, and they were able to give us feedback on things they liked and didn’t like,” Day said.

Digging deeper

During the meeting, not all community members thought the process was fair for both short-term rental operators and those who do not want them in Plano. Kristin Reinaker, a member of the city’s short-term rental task force, said the new regulations place an excessive burden on property owners.

“I support common-sense rules that protect neighborhoods and responsible hosts,” Reinaker said.

Although the adopted zoning regulations were not previously recommended by the planning and zoning commission, council members have the ability to amend the commission’s recommendation and go in a different direction, Day said. With the unanimous approval, the requirement for six out of eight votes, or a supermajority, was achieved with the 7-0 tally. Mayor John Muns was absent for the vote.

What they’re saying

“We are not a tourist city,” resident Carolyn Kalchthaler said. “When Frisco gets its act together offering literally everything under the sun, we will be overrun by short-term-rental renters who will take their business to Frisco, then flood our neighborhoods with strangers.”

“Short-term rentals help make housing affordable for the people in Plano, for the people who already live here,” resident Will Tarrant said. “We have the opportunity to give our residents some relief, and it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. It contributes to tax revenues and provides additional income for property owners, making the ever-increasing cost of home ownership possible for so many.”

What else?

Along with new zoning regulations, Plano city staff are developing the components of a short-term rental operator training program, which is likely to include information on city ordinances and requirements as well as information about human trafficking, Director of Neighborhood Services Curtis Howard said. A live date for the registration program, which will require short-term rental operators to register their property by Aug. 1, has not yet been determined but should be finalized in the near future, he added.