Cottonwood Shores homeowners looking to make income through short-term rentals now must register those residences with the city and pay a fee. The City Council approved a short-term rental ordinance at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 2, that should go into effect after the Dec. 16 meeting.
The state of Texas defines short-term renters as people who don’t stay more than 30 days at a property.
Short-term rental owners in Cottonwood Shores will pay a new registration fee of $200 and then $100 each year to renew. An annual inspection costs $143.75 and covers fire alarms and other “standard safety things.”
Short-term rental owners also will have to assess and collect hotel-motel occupancy taxes.
“All we’re asking them to do is register with the city and collect and pay the hotel funds,” Mayor Don Orr said.
While Orr didn’t know for certain the number of short-term rentals currently in the city, he was confident more will become available.
“With everything we have coming in Central Texas, people are looking for places to rent,” he said. “It’s a good ordinance. I don’t think any owner or landlord will have an issue with it.”
The ordinance also outlines standards for the renters, such as not having a party with “14 cars parked parked on two yards,” Orr said. Renter requirements fall in line with those of many short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO.
“We want to maintain the consistency of our residential zoning,” Orr added. “Airbnb requires rental places to have house rules. They’re in line with our ordinance.”
He said city leaders are following the examples of neighboring towns, including Marble Falls and Granite Shoals. Cottonwood Shores officials examined six other cities’ ordinances before coming up with their own.
In other business, the council approved:
spending $5,000 on an interlocal agreement to participate in the Burnet County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, which could lead to emergency management reimbursement funds;
and purchasing spare parts for the water treatment system at $25,000.