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Regulating STRs Among Local City’s ‘Major Initiatives’

STRS
Airbnb logo printed on paper photographed with house in background | Image by AlesiaKan/Shutterstock

The regulation of short-term rentals was listed as one of Plano’s “major initiatives” in an inaugural report of the city’s ongoing projects.

“City Council directed initiative to seek information and solutions on how to address nuisance issues and concerns of citizens,” wrote Plano director of planning Christina Day in the report. “The Task Force will meet on January 17, followed by a public open house on February 7 and a final meeting on February 28. Staff hopes to begin drafting potential ordinance amendments based on feedback from the January meeting.”

According to city documents, members of Plano’s “Short-Term Rental Task Force” have met five times since June to discuss complaints about short-term rentals in single-family neighborhoods and possible solutions to the problem.

The issue of whether short-term rentals are appropriate in single-family districts in Texas and how — or whether — they can be regulated through city ordinances has been debated for several years, including in Dallas, where a county judge in December said that officials could not enforce regulations because they are a breach of property owner’s rights, as reported by The Dallas Express.

“STR Ordinances are likely unconstitutionally oppressive in light of the alleged government interests,” the court order reads. “The right to conduct STR activity is a vested right in Texas that is a component of home ownership. It appears likely that the City cannot show that the STR Ordinances are rationally related to deterring nuisances, and in any event, nuisance ordinances that already exist in the Dallas City Code could be enforced to prevent any nuisance violation.”

Short-term rentals are generally defined as properties where tenants reside for no more than 30 days. Airbnb and Vrbo often fall into that category, although renters using those services may stay longer. Some property owners who list their homes for rent on Airbnb, for example, live on-site and rent out part of their homes to tenants. Others do not live on-site but own and rent out the entire property for periods ranging from one night to a couple of weeks.

By law in Texas, those who use their properties for short-term rentals must collect hotel occupancy taxes and remit that money just as proprietors of hotels or bed and breakfasts are required to.

In their meeting in November, members of the Short-Term Rental Task Force debated quality of life issues. Noise has often been a chief complaint in neighborhoods where homes are used as short-term rentals, as well as on-street parking, occupancy limits, and property standards.

The Plano City Council is not expected to implement “operational changes” on short-term rentals before July.

Other projects listed under the report’s “major initiatives” include:

  • Replacing Development Services software to improve functionality and make for a more user-friendly online customer portal.
  • Land-use planning around 12th Street and Shiloh Road stations is being developed through April in the Silver Line Station area. A public meeting is scheduled for February 8 at Harrington Library, and the adoption phase is set for spring.
  • A review of primary development codes to ensure alignment with the city’s land-planning policies is expected to run through March 2026.
  • Zoning cases involving Lavon Farms and The Shops at Willow Bend Mall are under review. Zoning cases for NexPoint’s life sciences campus and Fry’s Electronics have been approved. Development applications are under review for Collin Creek, Haggard Farms, and Beacon Square.

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