Dallas City Council hears from public on proposed short-term rental ban

Dallas City Council members heard from the public for the first time Wednesday about how they want the city to regulate short term rentals.

Some residents who are concerned about too many loud parties at rentals are hopeful the council will ban short term rentals in residential neighborhoods. 100 people signed up to speak during the council committee’s meeting.

David Peters says a shooting next door to him in April should illustrate to councilmembers why short term rentals don't belong.

"They went inside then all of a sudden you hear rapid fire gunfire. 30 shell cases all along driveway," Peters said.

Peters took photos of the police response.

"Shell casings were from there all the way up there, a bullet could have come through the window at any point in time," he said.

One after another, STR opponents described other nuisance complaints to city council.

"After living next door to party house, they must be shut down or moved out of a neighborhood where lives are not destroyed. Weekend after weekend there is a party with alcohol, drugs, people armed? Who knows?" said Don Thomas Jr.

Short term rental operators also spoke at the council meeting. Many said they understand concerns of neighbors and do support more regulations to get rid of bad operators.

"I do believe that 99% of hosts, if they know of an issue, will resolve it quickly," said owner Ashley Martin.

Lisa Sievers, the owner of two short term rentals in East Dallas, spoke to FOX4 by zoom before the public hearing. She believes one solution could be to have a Dallas code enforcement officer on duty to respond to STR complaints.

"Maybe they need to shift one person to work nights and weekends to take care of any parties happening on weekends," Sievers said.

Right now code enforcement officers only work during business hours.

"Why do we need a sledge hammer? Why can't we start with something more scalpel-like, and get rid of bad actors and allow those of us to provide a service that is needed, if was not needed, we would not be booked 80% of the time?" Sievers said.

While the public normally receives three minutes to speak during a public hearing, the mayor limited speakers to one minute due to the large number of people signed up to talk. It was a frustration to many who felt they did not get to fully express themselves before a city council committee casts the first vote on the matter May 17.


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