Before former council member Charlie Parker left the council in May, he wanted to solve the challenges of short-term rentals.
The council spent the summer deliberating on how to solve those challenges since Parker left, but he, along with almost 100 residents, expressed their frustration during the citizen participation at Tuesday’s council meeting. Parker said he wants to ban or limit short-term rental options, like AirBnB, in Arlington.
“I have been waiting for five years for an ordinance on short-term rentals, and I couldn’t talk to you and get it done up there,” Parker said. “I thought I’d come down here and give it a try.”
Residents in attendance, along with Parker, said they wanted Arlington to either implement a new ordinance or enforce the existing Unified Development Code regulations, which will follow Grapevine’s lead. Grapevine recently banned short-term rentals earlier this month.
“What Grapevine has done, is they have set an example for the city of Arlington,” Parker said. “If I was Arlington, I might be a little embarrassed that little old Grapevine has seen fit to put their foot forward when Arlington has the bigger problem.”
Complaints about short-term rentals ranged from noise complaints, excessive trash, safety issues and congested streets and homes.
Arlington resident Douglas McArthur, who has live in his Clay Court Lane residence for 15 years, has dealt with similar issues with a short-term rental next door.
“Next thing I knew, I had what appeared to be a Motel 6 next door to me,” McArthur said. “Everything but the neon sign.”
Short-term rentals go against Arlington’s Unified Develop Code and other places such as Santa Monica, California, have been successful in addressing the rentals with more regulations, Parker said.
Currently 569 short-term rentals are listed in Arlington, according Host Compliance’s Arlington data report. This is an increase of 160 in the last six months, Parker said.
Many of the problems need to be addressed, but additional regulations won’t solve the problem, said Traci Hemminger, Arlington Short-Term Rental Alliance director.
Permit systems for short-term rentals would allow city officials to identify those who may cause problems, Hemminger said.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said the problem is complicated to solve and the city has been working to address the problem.
“We can’t put it at the back burner,” he said.