Plano bans most short-term rentals

Homes rented through apps like Airbnb and Vrbo permitted only in areas zoned for hotels

Dallas Suburb Plano Bans Most Short-Term Rentals
Mayor John Muns and Airbnb's Brian Chesky (City of Plano, Getty)

For Plano homeowners looking to rent out their properties via Airbnb, not so fast.

After years of deliberation, Plano City Council has unanimously voted to ban nearly all new short-term rentals in single-family neighborhoods, the Dallas Morning News reported. Homes rented through apps like Airbnb and Vrbo will only be permitted in areas zoned for hotels, and regulations will be more stringent.

The ordinance allows existing short-term rentals to continue operations, so long as they register with the city by Aug. 1 and pay a registration fee. 

The ordinance also imposes spatial limitations on STRs within heritage districts, requiring a minimum distance of 300 feet between properties. This measure is intended to mitigate the clustering often associated with STRs and to preserve the character of historically significant areas.

The decision follows extensive community engagement. Plano residents received informational postcards, and numerous meetings were held to gather input and discuss potential solutions. Despite differing viewpoints, the council’s unanimous vote underscores the community’s overwhelming disapproval of STRs. 

Residents have experienced disturbances and safety hazards attributed to STRs, including rowdy parties, violence and drug use. One rental property was reportedly used for a prostitution ring.

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Proponents of STRs argue for property rights, while stressing that many homeowners rely on the steady streams of revenue they provide to make “the ever-increasing cost of homeownership so possible for many.”

While council member Rick Horne voted to ban STRs, he voiced reservations about potential legal challenges and broader implications for the city. 

“We’re either going to be sued now or sued later,” he told the outlet. “If we do (a ban on short-term rentals), you have to recognize that, as citizens, that money will go to attorneys instead of putting an overlay on our road.”

Kristin Reinaker, who served on the city’s short-term rental task force, raised concerns about equitable representation in the decision-making process, calling the new ordinance “excessive and unfairly discriminatory against short-term rental owners.” 

Despite some pushback, the council’s resolution was met with applause from citizens, reflecting broad support of measures to safeguard residential neighborhoods from the potential drawbacks of unchecked short-term rentals. 

—Quinn Donoghue

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