Hollywood Park’s leaders are tasking the Hollywood Park Zoning Commission to discuss creating restrictions on short-term rentals.

What happened?

City Council met Aug. 15 to follow up on a July discussion about implementing some type of limits on short- or long-term rentals inside city limits. The city has no rules affecting self-contained houses or spaces in homes that are rented for a period of time.

The background

Mayor Sean Moore initially brought the idea to council in July, saying four Airbnb rentals are known to be operating inside Hollywood Park.

Moore said short-term rentals can become problematic for neighbors with traffic and noise.

On Aug. 15, police Chief Shad Prichard told council that his department has gotten complaints about noise and traffic about one specific local Airbnb rental, adding short-term rentals also pose a risk of attracting attention from potential criminals.

What they’re saying

While Moore reminded council that Hollywood Park’s residential areas are zoned only for single-family homes, he, fellow town officials and residents are worried that investors are looking to buy homes and turn them into rentals. Critics said they feel short-term rentals threaten to change the community’s character.

“When people move here, they do it because they can know their neighbor,” Moore said. “They want that accountability and to be ensured that the neighbor won’t act out.”

Council Member Wendy Gonzalez said she understands challenges with short-term rentals, but such establishments can help people in need. She recalled staying in a Houston short-term rental while her husband received treatment for an illness.

Gonzalez said instead of considering an outright ban, maybe the city could implement limits on short-term rentals.

“There are a lot of valid reasons and maybe some restrictions that could be put into place,” Gonzalez said.

Council Member Glenna Pearce said some residents have told her that they favor limits on short-term rentals, but how such rules could potentially affect private property rights is a concern.

Resident Wendell Peters told council an Airbnb rental is operating in his neighborhood.

“It’s become a real problem. You have kids there; sometimes it’s loud, and there’s traffic,” he said

What’s next?

City officials said the zoning commission can take the next step to initiate discussions about short-term rentals, a process that would include notifications to residents and public hearings before forwarding a recommendation to council. No specific deadline was provided to the zoning commission on making such a recommendation.