At the November 18 Executive Committee meeting, the ANA Board voted to form a special committee on Home Hotels.
The issue arose following an article in the Allandale Neighbor about vacation rentals. Previously, the Board heard a presentation by neighbors at the August EC meeting. Home Hotels are called by many names. They are located all over Austin. They are often presented as a homeowner doing a home vacation exchange, and this view is aggressively promoted by a trade organization. “It’s my property and I can rent it as I please.” Trouble is, the property owners are not home owners doing a vacation exchange – they have purchased property with the specific intention of providing sleeping accommodations for a fee, with a 2-night minimum stay, on a regular, recurring basis. They thus meet the definition of a motel, and those located in Allandale are operating on lots zoned SF2. SF2 zoning prohibits such commercial activity.
A group of neighbors, those living next to the hotels and others concerned about commercial activity in residential zoning, are active in opposing the hotels. There is commonly excessive parking, noise, and disturbance when the places are rented – just the reasons that they are banned from single family zoning.
Vacation rental units located in Condos on 5th St and in apartment areas are not in single family zoning. Some on Lake Austin and Lake Travis are unzoned. But Allandale, Bouldin Creek, and other single family neighborhoods are being negatively impacted. Often, the units are advertised to highlight the neighborhood setting – an attractive house in a quiet setting; just right for a football party. “Live like a rock star during SXSW.”
The special committee will report regularly to the ANA Board, and updates will be presented in the Allandale Neighbor. The committee is charged with fact-gathering, including collecting information about these properties. If you have information of interest to the committee, I urge you to email Maurice Anderson, the chair, at MFAANCON [Email address: MFAANCON #AT# aol.com - replace #AT# with @ ].