A positive disposition toward short-term rentals (STR) in Kyle was the reaction from the majority of residents who participated in a Planning and Zoning commission (P&Z) survey on the matter.
With 502 respondents chiming in, around 48 percent voted that STR should be allowed with regulations, while17 percent voted they should be allowed without regulations.
Despite the majority approving STR, roughly 30 percent of participants believed STR should not be allowed in Kyle at all.
In an open-ended question, 265 survey takers wrote comments on reasons why STR should be allowed. Some of the top reasons for allowing STR included that it encourages tourism for the city, stimulates the local economy, and allows homeowners to supplement their income. Some commenters even argued that not allowing STR would be government over-regulation of private property owners.
“I’m 87 years old and the little extra income I was getting from the occasional renter helped me make ends meet,” one person wrote.
Another person didn’t believe government should regulate “what someone wants to do with the property the individual owns.”
“Tourists spend money locally. I assume the city is expecting people to visit the Pie Capital,” according to one person’s response.
However, 355 survey takers wrote comments on reasons why STR should not be allowed.
Reasons not to allow STR include issues with crime, noise, and parking, along with an influx of strangers into the community.
Some believed STR take away from the family-friendly aspect of Kyle, while others felt STR renters might not respect properties or neighborhoods. Some people believed STR could lower property values in neighborhoods, while another wrote “Nimby,” or Not in My Backyard.
“Any time people are on vacation they tend to behave a little more loosely than usual, which may be a disturbance to neighbors and more work for our already thinly stretched police force,” one person wrote. “It also brings more traffic to our already congested streets.”
“It could lead to transient people we may not want in our community,” a fourth commenter wrote.
Members of Kyle’s P&Z received copies of these survey results April 24, which are also available to the public online. P&Z members discussed the results of the survey and how to proceed with preparing their final report and recommendation to city council.
In the report, P&Z will make note of reoccurring themes within the comments to show to city council, give a history of STR regulations in the state and surrounding areas, give potential regulations the city could make including collecting Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT), among other sections in the report.
One of the many controversial topics that P&Z will include in the report concerns property values. P&Z members agreed that it would be hard to determine whether STR would cause property values to increase or decrease. Whether or not STR could be regulated by homeowners associations (HOA) was also a topic of discussion as well.
P&Z will meet again on May 8 to put together its report and is scheduled to present its recommendation to city council on June 5.