Northeast Tarrant

Judge orders Grapevine to quit banning short term rentals

A state district judge ordered Grapevine to stop enforcing its ban on short term rentals after several property owners sued the city in October.

On Wednesday, state district judge Mike Wallach issued a temporary injunction against the city stating that the ban constitutes a hardship on property owners.

The case will go to trial on April 15.

Matthew Boyle, an attorney representing Grapevine wrote in an email to the Star-Telegram that the plaintiffs “are motivated by greed” and the city “remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the integrity of its residential neighborhoods from the harmful impacts of illegal, short-term rentals.””

Lucie Muns, one of the property owners suing the city, said she is pleased with the judge’s decision.

“The reason why we are fighting is that they are not being truthful about what they are telling us what we are allowed to do,” she said. “Now, they’re changing their minds and people spent a lot of money.”

The lawsuit alleged that when property owners asked city officials if there were ordinances in place on short term rentals, they were told that there were no problems with leasing out their homes.

But on Sept. 4, the city council affirmed the zoning ordinance that was already on the books. It does not allow short- term rentals and defines them as a lease less than 30 days.

But property owners described how they invested in improving thier homes and some relied on the income from the rentals to make a living.

Other residents described noise, trash and other problems associated with the properties.

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.

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