Lufkin City Council members consider ordinance for short-term rental properties
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin city council members are working to approve an ordinance for short-term rental properties. With the increase in short-term rentals, including AirBnB, the city believes regulations are needed.
Jessica Pebsworth, Lufkin’s Public Information Officer said, “the idea would be to ensure that the rental is safe for tenants, up to fire code, fire standards, that there’s safety precautions in place. Also put some regulations on parking to ensure that neighbors aren’t being inconvenienced by an influx of guest on their street.”
Pebsworth said times are changing. “Occasionally, cities will have to sit down and reevaluate their ordinances to ensure that their ordinances are keeping up with the times,” said Pebsworth.
City manager Kevin Gee believes the ordinance could help preserve neighborhoods and protect surrounding properties. Gee said, “in order to establish guidelines for the operation and monitor the collection of the hotel, motel tax. Staff finds it beneficial to the community to enact an ordinance regulating short term rentals.”
The city currently has around forty short-term rentals - this is a fifty-five percent increase within the last year.
“You have the presence of commercial type activity within residential areas that we see can potentially have an effect on adjacent properties in our neighborhoods,” said Gee.
That means any rentals that are less than 30 days – including AirBnB – will fall under the short-term rental ordinance- anything over 30 days is considered a long-term rental.
“Property owners will have to come in and register with the city, there will be an inspection process, permitting process, and some fees associated with that,” she said.
The city plan to use a third-party vendor to help track short-term rental compliance.
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