Dallas City Council puzzled over how to handle AirBnB parties


The Dallas City Council is at an impasse over the issue of short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.

Dallas code planners and enforcers appeared before council members on Wednesday with new zoning options to regulate listings from Airbnb, VRBO and other platforms, according to the Dallas Morning News.

What started as a European trend in Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam around 2018, AirBnB and VRBO bans are becoming increasingly popular in US cities. Santa Monica effectively wiped out 80% of its Airbnb listings by instituting the toughest regulations on short-term rentals in the country, according to Forbes.

Dallas, on the other hand, has no rules regarding short-term rentals — residential properties or units that are typically rented for less than 30 days. Lack of regulation has frustrated residents who have no recourse against neighbors’ ‘party houses’ and irresponsible hosts or guests

Since 2020, the city has launched three working groups to look into the issue. As of Wednesday, however, the only thing council members can agree on are potential problems in enforcing those regulations.

“I’m really not sure we’re anywhere close to having the capacity to apply everything we’re doing here,” council member Adam McGough said.

The first option weighed by the board resembles Miami’s approach to the issue. In this scenario, non-owner-occupied rentals, such as cases in which owners have multiple Airbnbs but live off-site, would be completely prohibited in areas designated for single-family homes. Short-term, owner-occupied rentals, regardless of zoning, would still be permitted as long as the space is not used for commercial or recreational purposes.

“I see this as an option for us to finally do this and move forward,” said board member Chad West, who is supportive of the plan.

The other option would have all the same parking requirements and event venue restrictions, but without the ban on non-owner occupied rentals. His supporters, council members Adam Bazaldua and Jaynie Schultz like the plan for its flexibility.

“We need to put something on the books as soon as possible so that we can start bringing these bad actors out,” Bazaldua said.

The third option, which has the support of council members Carolyn King Arnold, Paul Ridley, Cara Mendelsohn and Jesse Moreno, would ban all short-term rental operators from single-family residential areas altogether.

September could be the council’s first vote on bylaws, according to DMN.

[DMN] — Maddy Sperling

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