Short term rental ordinance approval, biannual report on Downtown San Angelo on City Council’s Tuesday agenda

Short term rentals, a biannual report on Downtown San Angelo, request for approval of amendments to the City of San Angelo Comprehensive Plan are among the many items on the agenda for Tuesday’s San Angelo City Council meeting. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at the McNease Convention Center.

Like many other cities, San Angelo has seen increased interest in short term rentals, or rentals of home for a period of less than 30 days, particularly in the neighborhoods around Lake Nasworthy. While the City currently has regulations for bed and breakfast establishments, other short term rentals are treated as a hotel/motel use, which is not allowed within residential zoning districts. City staff has met with both proponents and opponents of these rentals, as well as representatives of the Lake Nasworthy Homeowners Association, and held a discussion item with the Planning Commission. Based on all of those discussions, staff drafted amendments to the zoning ordinance to specifically address Short Term Rentals, as distinct from bed and breakfast establishments. These amendments are intended to strike a balance that will generally allow this use in single-family neighborhoods, but with some restrictions to address common concerns from neighbors.

On April 18, 2016, the Planning Commission recommended approval of amendments to the zoning ordinance by a unanimous 7–0 vote.

  • On August 2, 2016, the City Council considered a draft ordinance to address this issue, but no motion achieved the necessary votes to pass,so the issue died effectively leaving the current ordinance prohibiting short term rentals in place. Subsequently at the Oct. 4, 2016 City Council meeting, the Council placed a moratorium on enforcement of the current ordinance pending resolution of this issue and directed staff to work with representatives from both sides and bring back an ordinance for the Dec. 6, 2016 Council meeting. On Dec. 6, 2016, the City Council voted on First Reading to approve the ordinance as written, with minor rewording to Section 406.A.1, by a vote of 4 in favor and 3 opposed.
    The proposed text amendment, as recommended by the Planning Commission, seeks to do the following:
    • Defines a “Short Term Rental” as a dwelling rented for 30 days or less that meets all of the following criteria:
    single family occupancy (but allowing up to 6 unrelated people rather than the normal requirement of no more than 4 unrelated)
    • No meal service
    • Does not host gatherings of more than 20 people
    • Defines “Bed and Breakfast” as a dwelling rented for 30 days or less that does not meet all of the criteria above
  • Implement a parking standard to ensure a minimum amount of parking on the site
    • Minimum of two spaces per house, plus an additional space per
    separately rented bedroom for a bed and breakfast
    • Standards to reduce negative impacts:
    • No more than 2 adults per bedroom
    • Outdoor gatherings for parties, picnics, family reunions, etc. are limited to the hours of 7:00 am to 10:30 pm and may not include more than 20 people total.
    • Requirements for registration, enforcement, and inspections
    • Hotel Occupancy Tax registration with the State and City (already required)
    • Requires a change of use Certificate of Occupancy when
    converting a home to a Bed & Breakfast or Short Term Rental
    • Annual fire safety inspection
    • Exception for rental related to the sale of a home
    • Exception for when the property is occupied by the owner or by a long-term renter

Requirement to obtain Conditional Use approval by the Planning Commission
• Rather than allowing these uses “by right”, the Planning Commission preferred a Conditional Use requirement to allow an individualized review, and notification for surrounding neighbors, for each proposed Short Term Rental.

Also on the agenda is a request for approval for awnings and outdoor seating along the front (west) elevation of a building located at 204 South Chadbourne Street to extend over a portion of the public sidewalk and into the public right-of-way of South Chadbourne Street. On Dec. 15, 2016, the petitioner obtained approval from the San Angelo Design and Historic Review Commission (DHRC) for the following: (a) a new 150- square-foot awning that will extend six feet from the building façade into the adjoining public right-of-way to provide all-weather protection and building enhancement; and (b) a new 32-square-foot, illuminated sign. On Nov. 14, 2016, the petitioner obtained TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) funding in order to proceed with the erection of the proposed awning; City Council approval will be necessary in order to facilitate this action, however.

A report on the current state of downtown will be given by DSA Executive Director Del Velasquez and DSA President Brenda Gunter.