Dallas city council struggles to reach consensus with AirBnB rules

Officials have been exploring solutions to the issue since 2020

Dallas, AirBnb, City Council

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

Dallas planning and code enforcement officials went 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 out as a European trend in Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam around 2018, AirBnB and VRBO bans are becoming increasingly popular in U.S. cities. Santa Monica effectively wiped out 80 percent 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. The lack of regulations has frustrated residents who have no recourse against neighbors’ ‘party houses’ and irresponsible property hosts or guests

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Since 2020, the city has launched three task forces to look into the issue. As of Wednesday, however, the only thing council members can agree on is the potential snags in enforcing such regulations.

“I’m just really not certain that we are even close to having the ability to enforce anything that we do here,” said council member Adam McGough.

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

“I see it as an option for us to get this finally done and move forward,” said council member Chad West, who favors 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. Its proponents, council members Adam Bazaldua and Jaynie Schultz like the plan for its flexibility.

“We need to get something on the books sooner than later so that we actually allow for us to start getting 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 outright ban all short-term rental operators from areas zoned single-family residential.

September could be the earliest the council would vote on the regulations, according to DMN.

[DMN] — Maddy Sperling