CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The controversy surrounding short-term rentals (STR) has been going on for quite some time. The city of Corpus Christi is moving forward with more regulation of vacation rentals.
In a close vote, the planning commission voted to recommend the passage of the phase two STR ordinance. The ordinance goes to the city council for consideration.
“We told the council we would have something in place or at least proposed before that July 11 deadline. So, we are on track,” said Daniel McGinn, director of the city planning department.
Currently, STRs are allowed in residential properties, zoned anything but single-family residences. If the new ordinance is passed, STRs would only be prohibited in single-family zoned homes on Padre Island.
“For the rest of the city, it does allow for some level of STR activity within single-family zoned areas," McGinn said. "Right now the proposal is 15 percent of a block face which is basically one side of the street.”
The proposal differentiates two types of rentals. Type one is rentals where the owner lives on the property. Type two are places where the owner doesn't live on the property.
It's type two that is limited to 15 percent of a block face. There is a special exemption the owner can apply for.
At the start of the year, phase one of this STR program required the registration of all STRs in Flour Bluff and Padre Island.
McGinn said it’s also been discussed to raise the registration fee from $50 to $350.
“Whatever we collect, we don’t know the amount yet but will go towards enforcement, the permitting process, maybe additional staff that may be needed, software. There’s a lot of expenses that will go into implementing this program,” said McGinn.
The biggest complaint about opponents to STRs is the unwanted partying it brings. McGinn said code enforcement is working to add more employees to focus on STR enforcement.
“Along with additional software. And then there’s also a proposal we’re looking at to add a phone hotline that will allow people to call into that service, through the software company that will handle our registration,” he said.
Those running the hotline would call the property's 24-hour supervisor. If they can't resolve the problem, then the police get involved. The possible penalty would be a fine.
Per the first phase of STR ordinances, all STR owners need to register with the city by July 11. As for this phase two ordinance, it will come before the council on June 28.