Short-term rentals could be zoned the same as hotels in Dallas, preventing them from neighborhoods

The Dallas City Council took a significant step late Wednesday that could change the landscape of where short-term rentals are allowed in the city. 

The council recommended that its zoning staff draft an ordinance that would define short-term rentals as hotels.

If the city does in fact define short-term rentals as lodging, it would mean they would be allowed in areas zoned for hotels and illegal in areas zoned residential.

RELATED: Dallas City Council considers banning short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods

Olive Talley loves her Dallas neighborhood in the Edgemont Park Conservation District. 

She is one of many homeowners who started asking Dallas to protect neighborhoods against short-term rentals more than two years ago. 

"We've had parties, drugs, parking, you name it," Talley said.

The Dallas Neighborhood Coalition soon formed.

"What's happened is a coming together of residents all over the city," she explained.

For months now, Dallas residents have been voicing their concerns at city council meetings. 

"Airbnbs are eroding sense of community," one person said.

"I know people who have moved out of Dallas because of STRs," another person said.

The coalition says its solution is proper zoning.

"We want to live next door to a home, not a hotel," Talley said.

Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold has dubbed it the "keep it simple" solution.

"Hopefully, we will get the citizens what they want, which is peace and quiet and being able to live in a neighborhood," she added.

Late Wednesday, Councilman Paul Ridley recommended defining short-term rentals as "lodging use," so they are zoned the same as hotels, preventing them from operating in neighborhoods. 

There was no official vote, since it was a briefing agenda, but there was "unanimous consent."

"We are really grateful for City Council and staff who has been listening to us, and legal counsel that has said the best, most legal way to regulate STRs is clear zoning and strong regulations," Talley said.

A proposed ordinance from the City Plan Commission could be ready for a vote from the Dallas City Council as early as September.