Editorial: City council’s 'compromise' for short-term rentals is not a long-term solution

It’s another day, another growing pain for Arlington, Texas.

Most recently, many residents have felt the headache of the short-term home rental market in and around the city, prompting complaints from neighbors about trash, noise and recklessness caused by renters.

The reports have prompted action from City Council looking to quell the debate and reach a compromise between short-term rental supporters and opponents.

The council has proposed a new Specific Use Permit process, requiring homeowners thinking of renting out their property to be “reviewed by city officials, provide media and neighbors notice, and go before the Planning and Zoning Commission and city council, where the public can provide input.”

The headache continues.

All of this red tape does more to stifle the local economy than it does to help it, and it’s a particularly shortsighted move at a time when the future seems more than ever to be emerging as a sharing economy.

We must recognize Arlington’s growing prominence as a destination city, especially among sports fans. As more people fill the stands, the city should be there to meet them with more lodging variety.

Arlington is also unique in its large student and international population. Short-term rental arrangements provide places to stay for visiting families, potential new Mavericks and international students upon their arrival to Texas.

Now, this is not to say the answer is total deregulation — compromise is critical for an issue like this.

But it is equally essential that the city reach this compromise without stifling the local economy and losing its share in a booming new hospitality industry.

As difficult as it may be to admit, our little city isn’t so little anymore. And if you’re one of the many residents living within a stone’s throw of Texas’s new epicenter of sports tourism, you may need to consider getting used to the ruckus that status brings. 

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of Opinion Editor Shay Cohen, Editor-in-Chief Narda Perez, News Editor Samantha Douty, Life and Entertainment Editor Maxwell Hilliard, Copy Desk Chief Caitlin Sherrill, Sports Reporter Dallas Johnson and News Reporter Jacob Reyes.

Reyes was not present for this editorial meeting.

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