STRs get OK from P&Z

A final report by Kyle’s Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the city’s short-term rentals could call for registration of the facilities with the city.

The report was discussed at the final STR workshop last week.

The commission has spent the past few months researching and putting together a report which includes data, a summary of statewide regulations, definitions, and a final recommendation to which will be given to Kyle City Council.

Options for enforcement and regulations, as well as the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling in which the court ruled in favor of an STR over the regulations of a homeowners’ association, were the prominent issues discussed.

P&Z members were reluctant to outright deny STRs because it is possible that the Texas Legislature may bring back a bill that died in committee last session which deregulated STR ordinances for cities.

Senate Bill 451 read, “A municipality or county may not adopt or enforce a local law that expressly or effectively prohibits the use of a property as a short-term rental,” unless the regulations demonstrate a purpose of protecting public health and safety.

Instead, P&Z decided to recommend adopting SB 451’s definition of STRs and write STRs into Kyle’s code assuming that STRs be treated as a hotel in terms of collecting taxes.

P&Z believes it is reasonable to have a permitting process, or a type of operating license, in order to get a point of emergency contact for the STRs. The permitting process would either be free or of low cost to encourage rental operators to register.

This would help provide a list of STRs in order for the city to also collect Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT).

Kyle’s HOT is seven percent in addition to the state’s HOT of six percent on the cost of a room, with reports made quarterly to the state.

Regulating the permitting process may create an extra administrative burden on city staff, and how the city will go about doing it is yet to be decided.

City staff maintains that STRs in the city are currently operating illegally despite it not being written into the code of ordinances.

P&Z will have its voting meeting on July 24, unless a special meeting is called to vote on the report.

Once P&Z votes to approve the report, it will be presented to city council at the subsequent council meeting.

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