Petition Closed
Petitioning Austin City Council

Suspend New Commercial Short-Term Rentals in Austin Neighborhoods!

We, the undersigned, hereby petition the Austin City Council to:

  1. Enact an immediate suspension on new Type 2 (commercial) short-term rental (STR) licenses. 
  2. Initiate a phased-in process to limit Type 2 STRs to commercially zoned areas. 
  3. Require a Conditional Use Permit for continued use of a Type 2 STR in a residential zoned area.
  4. Strengthen the STR ordinance and revoke license of problematic STRs.
  5. Reduce license fees for owner-occupied Type 1 STRs.

Background:

On August 2, 2012, the Austin City Council voted to allow Type 2 commercial short-term rentals (STRs) in every single-family neighborhood in Austin. Unlike owner- occupied Type 1 STRs, which serve as homes for Austin residents most of the year, Type 2 STR remove housing that could otherwise be used by those who live here.

Now, just three years later, nearly 500 single-family homes in neighborhoods throughout Austin have already been removed as housing and are operating as full-time commercial Type 2 STRs - and that’s only the ones with city licenses.

According to city staff, many Type 2 STRs are owned by investors who live out of state, or even out of the country, and their number is growing.

Problems associated with Commercial Type 2 STRs cannot be fixed by code enforcement alone. In addition to the well-documented issues with “party houses,” Type 2 STRs:

  • Drive up rental rates for traditional long-term renters, with some Type 2 Commercial STRs commanding prices of over $1,800 per night.
  • Contribute to Austin’s ongoing housing loss and affordability problems.
  • Remove family-friendly housing, affecting school enrollment.
  • Cause a decline in property values of adjacent homes.
  • Function as hotels, which are not allowed in residential neighborhoods under City of Austin zoning rules, even though hotels are better regulated.
  • Have no onsite management, no fire or safety measures, no parking limits, no regulations against large events or gatherings, no concern for existing residents.
  • Replace neighbors with an ever-changing cast of strangers, undermining the fabric of our community.

We believe Austin neighborhoods should be communities, not commodities. We support Type 1 owner-occupied STRs and urge Council to reduce license fees for these to help Austin residents.

But Type 2 commercial STRs are a completely different story. That’s why we urge our City Council to limit Type 2 STRs to commercial zoning or require a Conditional Use Permit for continued operation in residential areas.

THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO:

  1. Please sign this petition today and urge your neighbors to do the same!
  2. Attend the Planning and Neighborhoods Committee meeting at 1:00 pm on September 15, 2015, at City Hall.
  3. Please write or call the City Council Members and ask them to:
  • Enact an immediate suspension on new Type 2 short- term rental (STR) licenses. 
  • Initiate a phased-in process to limit Type 2 STRs to commercially zoned areas. 
  • Require a Conditional Use Permit for continued use of a Type 2 STR in a residential zoned area.

Here’s the link to send one email to all City Council members: http://www.austintexas.gov/mail/all-council-members

Email Addresses City Council Members:

Steve.Adler@austintexas.gov, Ora.Houston@austintexas.gov,
Delia.Garza@austintexas.gov, Sabino.Renteria@austintexas.gov, Gregorio.Casar@austintexas.gov, Ann.Kitchen@austintexas.gov, Don.Zimmerman@austintexas.gov, Leslie.Pool@austintexas.gov, Ellen.Troxclair@austintexas.gov, Kathie.Tovo@austintexas.gov, Sheri.Gallo@austintexas.gov

Follow Neighbors for Short Term Rental Reform on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Short-Term-Rental- Reform/446471182192120

This petition was delivered to:
  • Austin City Council

    This petition starter stood up and took action. Will you do the same?


    Today: Neighbors For Short Term Rental Reforms is counting on you

    Neighbors For Short Term Rental Reforms needs your help with “Suspend New Commercial Short-Term Rentals in Austin Neighborhoods!”. Join Neighbors For Short Term Rental Reforms and 715 supporters today.