ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Hotels may not end up being the only option for Arlington tourists after all. After two years of working toward a ban on home rentals, the city is now working on a process to allow them.
In front of a split crowd packing city hall Tuesday, the city council decided that instead of a ban, it would create a special permit process. It would allow owners to still rent their homes, in a city that has built itself as a destination for tourists.
The city was set to outlaw the popular practice, until coming back to the compromise discussed months ago.
“We had this answer months ago, and we missed it,” said city councilman Robert Shepard. “And sometimes the best solutions are the solutions that are right in front of your face that you never see.”
It wasn’t clear yet Wednesday exactly what the permitting process would entail. Staff is expected to design something, before city leaders vote on it again in several weeks.
Research presented to elected leaders shows the short term rental market is growing. There are almost 500 active listings in the city now, up almost 25-percent from less than a year ago.
“This is a new market,” Traci Hemminger said at the meeting Tuesday. She owned five homes in the area that she said she has improved for rentals.
“It’s here to stay. People want it. They’re successful because people want it.”