Dallas City Council still struggling to regulate short-term rentals

The city of Dallas is still grappling with how to regulate short-term rentals.

City staff members gave Dallas City Council members a number of options.

The eight different options staff presented range from keeping the status quo to prohibiting short-term rentals altogether.

Some city council members said they preferred a combination of creating new zoning rules along with regulations.

Timothy Sigler imagined a quest front yard oasis when he bought his Lakewood home in 2015. But in 2019, he says his front yard oasis changed dramatically.

"Every weekend, at least one unit has a large gathering. Honking horns. Racing cars," he said.

Now, Sigler says he won't let his children play in the front yard when the neighboring duplex is being rented out for the weekend. 

"I was out here and someone was asking me if I wanted to buy drugs, and I was with kids in the front yard," he said.

One issue people in Lakewood neighborhood have is that when there is a problem there is no person to call about it.

"There’s no way to contact the people who sublease it except through Vrbo or Airbnb, and they don't respond," Sigler said.

The owner of the property said she rents it to a short term rental operator, who did not return FOX 4’s messages.

That would change under one regulation Dallas City Council members are considering.

Councilman David Blewett wants a combination of zoning rules and regulations. One of them would require a person who can be reached 24 hours a day.

"Problem operators, we need a way to manage them," he said. "If they’re breaking rules, they will probably continue to break the rules. So we have to have more teeth."

Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold said the council has to balance the rights between both homeowners and short term rental owners.

"Can they simply as an owner have the right to have a party at home every weekend with friends?" she asked.

"They have to comply with noise limits, but yes, you can have a party at your house," said Dallas Executive Assistant City Attorney Casey Burgess.

Sigler believes the only solution is to ban short term rentals from neighborhoods zoned as single family.

"People only here on the weekend don't care about the neighborhood," he said.

Blewett said there is a type of zoning the city can give STRs that would make their operation a privilege and not a right. He says that privilege could then be revoked if it is abused.

The city will be seeking public comment at a meeting next month. The date for the meeting has not yet been set.


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