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Next short term rental ordinance looks to ban areas on Padre Island

Posted at 7:08 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 20:08:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, Corpus Christi City Council as well as the mayor were presented with the next phase of recommendations for laws regarding short term rentals (STR's).

In March, registration for short term rentals on Padre Island and in Flour Bluff became law. As of May 16, those two areas have 916 permits issued.

Robert Suggs is one of 17 members of the STR stakeholder advisory group that gives input to the city staff.

Suggs also operates his own STR adjacent to his home in Lamar Park. He said he's run it for over two years with no issues from guests or the city.

The latest recommendation is to ban all STRs in single family zoned homes on Padre Island. The ordinance would allow for STRs in single family zoned homes throughout the rest of the city.

So this brings the question to why not on Padre Island?

"That argument is valid from those full time residents on the Island. I wouldn't want to live next to a party house," Suggs said.

Suggs acknowledged Padre Island is the crown jewel tourists come to visit. It's become a conducive environment for locals and visitors to party.

It comes down to the complaints of too many parties at the Padre Island rentals.

Marvin Jones is another advisory group member and said these parties brings a lot of noise late at night, too many cars blocking driveways, trash and a safety concern.

In fact there has been an ordinance in place that bans all STRs in single family zoned homes throughout the city. It had only been enforced on a complaint basis.

"Does that need to be controlled? Yes, because we don't want wild parties interfering with full time residents enjoyment," said Suggs. "But I think there can be a program setup for more responsibility and expectations placed upon the host."

Another recommendation was limiting a certain type of STRs per residential block.

There are two types of rentals. Type one are people who rent a home and live at this residence. Type two are people renting a home, but don't live there.

There would be no limit for Type 1. It's proposed Type 2 rentals would be limited to 15 percent of the total houses on one side of a street within a block.

If you have 13 houses on one side of a street, the city would allow two STRs of those homes.

Suggs said the difference has been that all STR nuisances are happening on Padre Island.

"There hasn't been an issue in the rest of the city," he said. "There haven't been nuisance short-term rentals. We've been operating smoothly and successfully. I don't think it's necessary to limit the number across the city"

Councilman Roland Barrera said he wouldn't support the proposed limiting of STRs as is recommended now. He said the focus should be on how to control the nuisances that come from rentals on the Island.

Suggs said the advisory group was leaning towards a higher limit of rentals on one side of a street to around 40 to 50 percent.

Advisory group member Ruby Cantu has advocated for less restrictions.

"I think they should allow us to do whatever we want to do with it besides(...) I mean, within reason we're not having sadist cultists services," she said.

"They want a home away from home. And, I think that as city managers and council, we should give our visitors more options to enjoy and not take options away from our visitors," said Suggs.

Suggs believes if these bans on Padre Island stick, litigation may come against the city. There's already precedent on this topic from the Texas Supreme Court.

A draft of the phase 2 ordinance is expected to be placed on the city website on Thursday.

Meetings will take place for the next several weeks. Council is scheduled to decide on a final ordinance draft at the end of June, taking effect in July.

To apply for a short term rental permit, click here.

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