Short-term rentals were never allowed in Grapevine, but the issue drew a standing-room-only crowd to the city council meeting Tuesday night.
City officials said that they noticed an uptick in complaints about noise, parking disputes and other concerns from neighborhoods where people rented single family homes on websites such as Airbnb.
After a public hearing that lasted about three hours, the council voted to adopt an ordinance clarifying the definition of a short-term rental, which means leasing property for less than 30 days.
The council also clarified that the zoning ordinance does not allow short-term rentals in the city.
The city will launch an education campaign before the ordinance is enforced, officials said.
During the public hearing, neighbors described how the short-term rentals caused problems in their neighborhoods and that they were like “mini hotels.”
Lee Davis, who lives near one of the homes where people stayed for a short time said, “These things have become highly commercialized. This is not someone going out of town for a week while there is a golf tournament in town. What we’re seeing are homes converted into party houses and mini hotels.”
But the hearing also drew residents who said their neighbors welcomed the rentals and that many who stayed in their homes were in the area on business or for job training.
Linda Morrissey said her home is always quiet and many who rent can’t afford to stay in a hotel.
“It would hurt me as a retiree as well as the kinds of guests we serve. Short-term rentals are good for the community,” she said.
Airbnb released a statement denouncing the city’s zoning ordinance and enforcement
It is outrageous that Texan homeowners must worry about having their private property rights trampled at the behest of special interests like the big hotel lobby. We have seen time and time again that shortsighted bans never work. We hope the city goes back to the drawing board and allows our hosts a seat at the table to work towards fair short-term rental rules.
Before the council voted, Mayor William Tate said Grapevine wants to maintain the integrity of its neighborhoods.
“It’s just not appropriate,” he said of the short-term rentals.
“We spent hours zoning this town, protecting single family homes and putting businesses along the highways. We’ve got a well-planned town. If you love this town, we need to protect it.”