Plano residents who have railed against short-term rentals in their neighborhoods for more than a year are one step closer to achieving their ultimate goal.
A citywide ban on short-term rentals will go into effect next week following a Monday night City Council vote to enact the ordinance that would temporarily ban new STRs from May 15 to May 15, 2024.
The City Council’s vote came following a joint meeting with the planning and city planning commission.
In addition, the City Council considered another item, a measure that would put in place a registration process and requirements for existing STRs, but decided to submit the ordinance for a June 26 assembly.
Residents said they believe the implementation of an interim ban means positive progress in their fight to remove properties rented for 30 days or less through platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo from their neighborhoods. Neighbors say the properties have caused various nuisances and jeopardized their safety. In February, a shooting connected to a short-term rental of Plano left bullet holes in a nearby home.
“Finally, the city took action,” said Plano Texas Neighborhood Coalition leader Bill France The Dallas Morning News. “We want to congratulate the city for recognizing this is a problem and taking definitive action that is legally defensible and sets us on a new course to ensure peace and security in our city.”
The interim measures, Plano officials said, would be in effect while the city collects data, engages in public awareness and analyzes the information to determine permanent measures. At a meeting last month, the city council agreed to move forward with a short-term rental task force made up of various community stakeholders.
Planning director Christina Day said at that meeting that the task force, along with other outreach efforts, would be part of the larger settlement process and a step forward in adopting permanent measures for short-term rentals.
A website, PlanoSTR.com, launched on April 17 and includes a community survey open through May 17. Forms to register for the task force are available through May 17, according to Day.
“We’ve had over 4,000 responses,” Day said. “We’ve had a really good response rate, we’re happy with that.”
The proposed registration ordinance would identify the presence of pre-existing STRs and enforce various other requirements, such as requiring landlords to display registration on property and perform self-inspection.
Corey and Kristin Reinaker, a married couple, said the measures would be invasive. They have been hosting short-term rentals since 2017 and said that the hosting experience was very good.
The Reinakers were outnumbered on Monday in the council chamber, filled with residents who supported the ban, but Corey said they are not enemies. He also thinks party houses are a problem.
However, Corey said, “They have a very maximalist stance that they’re asking for. … There are so many good ways that short-term rentals can operate and this one really overlooks it and doesn’t give it room. That’s why I made comments calling for a more balanced and fairer approach than a total ban.”
Kristin said they have issues with the way ordinances are written.
“It’s a rough draft,” he said. “And I think it should be reviewed.”
The city council also had questions and concerns about the registration order being filed, particularly due to state legislation. Senate Bill 929 refers to “the notice and compensation that a municipality must provide before revoking the right to use property for a use that was permitted before a regulation or zoning boundary was made or changed” .
Andrew Fortune, Plano’s director of policy and government relations, said the bill passed with a super majority and is currently on the governor’s desk. The legislation would go into effect immediately upon signature by the governor (within 10 days).
Fortune said a STR ban would create noncompliant uses, triggering the bill’s provisions. She added that more time would be needed to evaluate the bill’s impact on the registration order.
While several board members have said they want to support residents, they want to evaluate the registration ordinance in the context of state law and with the data they have collected.
“Please trust me, you all know where I am on the STRs,” Place 2 Council member Anthony Ricciardelli said at the meeting after he lined up to file the registration order. “We’ve looked at these seven days up to Sunday and everything that’s being done is with the aim of making sure that what we do can be defended.”