If you're planning a weekend getaway to University Park and hope to capture the authentic Park Cities experience of living in an overpriced home on an absurdly expensive postage stamp of land, you'd better act fast. The City Council there is mulling a crackdown on short-term leases of single-family homes through sites like Airbnb.
"In the instances, a homeowner, a property owner that lives in that residence will vacate the property and then lease it on a short-term basis, typically through a website," a city staffer explained to the council this week (probably unnecessarily, if council members are as tech savvy as their official portrait suggests). "The most common website is vacationrentalbyowner.com. There are some concerns of the neighboring property owners about the frequency of persons renting those facilities the turnover who is actually occupying it."
Currently, University Park has no rules addressing such rentals, and the council didn't change that when they met Tuesday night. They did, however, unanimously vote to kick the matter to a zoning committee to draft regulations.
Over at Candy's Dirt, Joanna England digs through the Park Cities listings at Airbnb and comes up with three.
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Clearly an epidemic, but UP isn't going to wait around and be overrun by vacationers too cheap to pay for a hotel. So, they join a growing list of cities and states grappling with how to regulate a tech-driven business model that disrupts not only the lodging industry but also the traditional use of single-family homes.
In that sense, it's sort of like the Uber situation in Dallas, only without the vice raids and the hijacking of city government by Yellow Cab, giving some amount of hope that UP will craft intelligent regulations.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.