Pearland 1 step closer to new rules for short-term rentals like Airbnbs

PEARLAND, Texas — Owners of short-term rentals looking to operate in Pearland may soon need to register with the city to do so.

At its regular meeting on March 28, Pearland City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance in a 6-1 vote that establishes regulations for the operation of short-term rental properties, such as Airbnbs. .

“It’s going to be a process,” Council member Alex Kamkar said. “That is going to take time.”

The ordinance, if approved for second reading, will go into effect July 1, according to the agenda papers. Council Member Adrian Hernandez proposed adding an amendment requiring an annual license review if short-term rental landlords have had two violations in one year. It could be added at the second reading of the ordinance. Council members did not vote to amend it on March 28.

Pearland first looked into the need to regulate short-term rentals after residents in a neighborhood around Green Tee raised concerns about a short-term rental property being used as a party home as early as July 2019, said resident Joseph Koza.

“It was just a party house,” council member Woody Owens said. “That’s all it was.”

Owens said he toured the issue-laden property and saw numerous issues brought to the council.

The ordinance establishes regulations across four different aspects: permit application, inspection requirement, restrictions, and permit denial or revocation, Pearland City Attorney Darrin Coker said.

In order to receive a permit to operate short-term rental in the city, owners must pay a non-refundable fee and provide various information, including proof of ownership with the site address, according to the documents on the agenda. .

For properties to pass the inspection, they must meet several criteria, including bedrooms having to have two means of escape, such as a door and a window, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors functional, revealed documents on the agenda. The documents also explained that the City of Pearland may conduct additional inspections of short-term rental property if a violation is reported or suspected.

Restrictions on short-term rentals include two adult guests per room and no more than 10 people total on site, and any advertising of the properties must have a written prohibition against using the property as a party or entertainment venue, as per the agenda documents.

Finally, permits may be revoked by the City of Pearland if the application information is incomplete, inaccurate, misleading or false or if the property is non-compliant, according to the agenda documents.

Council member Luke Orlando, who was the only one to vote against the first ordinance, said the regulation of short-term rentals did nothing to directly target bad actors causing problems like those raised by those near Green Tee .

Kamkar asked Coker if a short-term rental property violated the ordinance’s parking requirement, such as if a car blocked a neighbor’s driveway, would the city have the authority to tow the vehicle. Coker said the city wouldn’t be able to do that if the car was parked in a public right of way.

“I think it violates the rights of people who are doing the right thing,” Orlando said.

This article comes from our partners at Community Impact Journal.

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