Pearland City Council passes second reading of an ordinance regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo in the city

PEARLAND, Texas — Owners of short-term rental properties will soon have to register with the city and follow a host of regulations to operate within the city limits of Pearland.

Pearland City Council at its regular meeting on April 11 passed the second and final reading of an ordinance in a 5-2 vote setting out requirements and regulations for operating short-term rentals, such than AirBnB and Vrbo. Council members Luke Orlando and Adrian Hernandez were the two votes against the ordinance.

SEE RELATED STORY: 2 people were shot dead at an Airbnb party near the Manvel area, according to the Brazoria Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Short term rental issues

“This ordinance by itself will not prevent a party from taking place,” said Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole. “It’s not going to prevent a shooting from happening, but it does give us recourse in the event that it does.”

The ordinance officially gives the City of Pearland the flexibility to have some control over short-term rental properties operating within its boundaries.

Hernandez said the reason for the change in his vote, which he voted in favor of during the first reading, is that after speaking with members of the community, he realized that the committee set up to review short term rentals in the city did not include any short term. -term rental owners as members.

Hernandez said the reason for the change in his vote – which he voted in favor of at first reading – is that after speaking with members of the community, he realized that the committee set up to review short-term rentals in the city did not include any short-term rental owners as members.

Cole’s reference to a party stems from concerns raised over the past three years among a cluster of residences nearby and along Verona Drive near the Green Tee Terrace housing estate.

At the April 11 meeting, several townspeople expressed support for the ordinance. Resident Joseph Koza, who has been on the front lines of Verona Drive property concerns for the past few years, said an “event center” does not belong in a residential neighborhood.

Resident Lindsey Lockhart, who lives on the property that has been the subject of complaints at previous council meetings, said several comments made over three years were untrue and could be refuted. She also claimed they were defamatory and libelous.

The order approved

As for the ordinance itself, council members, city staff and residents said it was a work in progress.

“It won’t be the final,” Council member Alex Kamkar said.

In the event of a violation, the owner will receive a notice of violation. The landlord will be given the opportunity to comply, and if there is no change, it could result in a Class C misdemeanor that will be resolved in municipal court, Pearland City Attorney Darrin Coker said.

The order passed April 11 included an amendment to the version passed first reading on March 28, which adds a clause allowing short-term rental owners to automatically have their short-term rental operating license extended by an additional year. if they have committed one or fewer offenses during the first 12-month period following the date of issue of the licence.

If they have two or more offenses in the first 12-month period, they will have to renew the license with the city after just one year.

The ordinance establishes many rules such as the requirement of a license to operate a short-term rental in the city and the requirement of payment of the hotel tourist tax. It also sets regulations on the properties themselves, such as occupancy limits per room and on the property as a whole, parking requirements, listing requirements, and even safety criteria, such as two means of escape in each room rented.

“Are we going to come back and improve on that and change it over time? Sure,” Council member Tony Carbone said. “But it’s a good start that we have to start with.”

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