Short-Term Rentals

Z-2231 - TEXT AMENDMENT


Council Initiates Zoning Change to Comply with Court Ruling                           

Residents Receive Notices of December Meetings

November 27, 2022,

Fredericksburg, TX -

A recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Short Term Rentals has prompted the need for the City of Fredericksburg to revise a specific component of the current zoning ordinance to ensure constitutionality and compliance.

The issue stems from the city's current definition of  STRs (Short-Term Rentals) that operate as a STR- B&B or as a STR-Accessory and require residency. The city's STR ordinance rewrite that became effective on April 1, 2022, stipulates that the main home of a STR - B&B or a STR- accessory must be the principal residence of the owner of the home. A decision made by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Fredericksburg, held that a similar STR owner -residence requirement in the New Orleans ordinance is unconstitutional (Hignell-Stark v. City of New Orleans, 46 F. 4th 317 - Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 2022).

City Council has requested a focused approach to remedy the issue to swiftly ensure that the ordinance is more closely aligned with the previous council's intent. Last week, notices were mailed to city property owners, alerting them of public hearings at upcoming Planning and Zoning and then City Council meetings. They will discuss an amendment of the definitions of SHORT-TERM RENTAL, ACCESSORY and SHORT-TERM RENTAL, B&B, and related definitions as necessary, to establish an alternative to the existing requirement that the property be the property owner's principal residence.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss this change at their meeting on Wednesday, December 7th at 5:30pm, and the City Council will review the recommendation on Tuesday, December 20th at 9:00am. Both meetings will be held at the Law Enforcement Center located at 1601 East Main Street.

Mayor Jeryl Hoover has formed an STR Task Force that has met regularly since November 1, 2022. This group of varied stakeholders is working to provide separate recommendations to City Council on enforcement, ordinance changes, software enhancements, and related items to ensure the continued thriving of Fredericksburg neighborhoods. The Task Force has not made any formal recommendations at this time. The proposed definition amendments up for consideration at this point are not part of the STR Task Force recommendation which will come in early 2023.

Residents and property owners who would like to share their opinion on STRs are encouraged to email neighbors@fbgtx.org and citycouncil@fbgtx.org. Council reviews submitted comments and welcomes the opportunity to learn more about the experience of residents and ways the city can improve.



Currently the Short-Term Rental specific definitions are as follows:

 

• SHORT-TERM RENTAL, ACCESSORY: A property containing a primary dwelling occupied as the property owner's principal residence (as evidenced by a current residence homestead exemption filed with the Gillespie County Appraisal District), that also contains a legal Accessory Dwelling Unit that is being used for Short Term Rental purposes.

 

• SHORT-TERM RENTAL, B&B: A property providing transient or guest lodging accommodations for compensation within the rooms of the property owner's principal residence (as evidenced by a current residence homestead exemption filed with the Gillespie County Appraisal District). Separate short-term rental permits shall not be required for each separate bedroom unit within a Short-Term Rental, B&B which may be rented.

 



New online services to apply for/renew Short-term Rental permits 

now available.


As of March 31, 2022, The City of Fredericksburg concluded services with Avenu Insights and Analytics, and have contracted with Granicus, LLC as of April 1, 2022.

The City of Fredericksburg defines Short-Term Rentals (STRs) as a privately owned dwelling, including but not limited to, a single family dwelling, multiple family attached dwelling, apartment house, condominium, duplex, mobile home, or any portion of such dwellings, rented by the public for consideration, and used for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes for any period less than thirty (30) days.

A Short-Term Rental Permit must be issued by the City of Fredericksburg authorizing the use of a privately owned dwelling as a Short-Term Rental.

The purpose of the STR Ordinance is to establish regulations for the use of privately owned dwellings as Short Term Rentals, to minimize negative ancillary impact on surrounding properties, and to ensure the collection and payment of Hotel Occupancy Taxes.

Quick Links:

city of fredericksburg

City of Fredericksburg Approves Agreement with Granicus, LLC

The City of Fredericksburg has approved an agreement with Granicus, LLC to provide Short-term Rental (STR) permitting and monitoring services, Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) collection and Sales and Use Tax discovery and recovery services.  

Services provided by Granicus will include:

  • Tax Collection: Makes tax reporting and collection easy for hosts and staff to submit and review online. Prompt for unreported periods and collect on back taxes.
  • Compliance Monitoring: Ongoing monitoring of STRs for zoning and permit compliance, coupled with systematic outreach to illegal short-term rental operators.
  • Mobile Permitting and Registration: Makes your STR permitting processes available online and mobile enabled (includes cellphones and tablets), easy, and accessible. Guides applicants through what can otherwise be complex permitting workflows even if they are on the go!
  • Rental Activity Monitoring: Provides you with estimated occupancy and rental revenue for each property based on machine learning modules unique to govService Host Compliance. Automatically identifies and flags audit candidates who are under-reporting on taxes or exceeding occupancy regulations.
  • Sales and Use Tax Review:  Ensures the proper application of Local Sales and Use Tax law, and identify those that may be underreporting and underpaying sales tax.

Granicus is a leading government software company with more than 5,500 local, provincial, state and federal customers, which ensures that the Host Compliance software and services will remain ahead of the rapidly evolving sharing economy.  Granicus invests more than $20M annually in technology development.  They have extensive experience delivering these services and software to 390+ cities and counties across North America such as San Antonio (TX), Nashville (TN), Steamboat Springs (CO), Summit County (CO), St. Johns County (FL), Midland (TX), and 14 other Texas communities.  for more information about Granicus, please click here.

For information about Hotel Occupancy Taxes please click here.  You may also contact Janelle Chapman at jchapman@fbgtx.org or call 830-990-2023.