(This petition applies only to type-2 commercial short-term rentals. We support type-1 owner-occupied short-term rentals.)
On August 2, the City Council will vote on a short-term rentals ordinance that will allow and encourage investors to buy single-family houses all over Austin (like yours and your neighbors’) and turn them into commercial short-term rentals. That means you might live next door to a motel and have several on your street. We have to fight back to stop this.
Commercial short-term rentals (CSTRs) are houses in your neighborhood right now. They are advertised online, and are rented out just like a motel. Except there’s no onsite management. No criminal background checks either. No fire or safety measures. No parking limits. No regulation against large events or gatherings. No concern for your nice, quiet neighborhood. If you do not act immediately and urge your neighbors to act immediately, investors will buy homes all over Austin and convert them into thriving lodging businesses with customers coming and going at all hours. They will not be your neighbors. They will be here today and gone tomorrow, and threaten the stability of your neighborhood.
It gets worse. If this happens all over Austin, the number of houses available for residents in inner-city neighborhoods will decrease, making homes less affordable. And if fewer families live in neighborhoods, schools will close. This is not fear mongering. It’s a fact.
Take action now or else. If you don’t act now, you will lose your neighborhood stability. The sense of community and security will be gone once different sets of strangers are sleeping next door all the time, holding parties at all hours, and disrupting your neighborhood. Get your neighbors to sign the petition. Everyone must write or call the City Council and come to the August 2 City Council meeting to stop this.
Tell Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and Council Members Bill Spelman, Chris Riley, Sheryl Cole, and Mike Martinez to change their votes and vote against CSTRs in our neighborhoods. Council Members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voted against CSTRs. Please thank them for their support!
Mayor Lee Leffingwell 512-974-2250 firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Sheryl Cole 512-974-2266 email@example.com
Member Bill Spelman 512-974-2256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Chris Riley 512-974-2260 email@example.com
Member Mike Martinez 512-974-2264 firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Kathie Tovo 512-974-2255 email@example.com
Member Laura Morrison 512-974-2258 firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about CSTRs available at the following links:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2012-06-22/there-goes-the-neighborhood/ http://www.austinchronicle.com/postmarks/2012-06-12/1338193/ http://www.statesman.com/opinion/morrison-tovo-reconsider-short-term-rental-vote-2405543.html http://www.statesman.com/opinion/commercial-short-term-rentals-are-illegal-here-and-2405450.html http://www.austinchronicle.com/postmarks/2012-07-02/1343647/
If passed, the proposed ordinance will allow and encourage investors to buy single family homes in Austin neighborhoods and convert them to commercial short-term rentals (CSTRs).
CSTRs are inconsistent with and harmful to residential neighborhoods. They lack onsite management and bring a steady stream of strangers into neighborhoods. They destabilize neighborhoods and increase crime, noise, pollution, and traffic congestion.
CSTRs increase housing prices, push families to suburbs, and reduce the number of students in inner-city schools.
Neighborhood groups in Austin oppose CSTRs because they are illegal and allow residential-zoned buildings to be used as businesses.
The proposed ordinance has no density limits to keep CSTRs from clustering in prime neighborhood locations nor a simple process for neighbors to shutdown problematic CSTRs.
The ordinance will require significant city government resources to license, monitor, and enforce. If passed, it will likely cause city property taxes to increase while simultaneously eroding privacy and quality-of-life in neighborhoods.