by Tom Linehan
There is not much new to report with regard to efforts to do something about short-term-rentals (STRs). The City is still in the information gathering stage. I attended the Planning and Development Review Department's public meeting on STRs last Thursday, January 27 held at the City's offices on One Texas Center. The room was packed with over 100 people in attendance. There were a number of short-term rental owners all with testimonials of the value of their properties and neighborhood representatives and STR neighbors wanting something done about them.
A number of Allandale residents were there. I recognized 10 people from Alladale at the meeting including a couple that owns STR properties. Allandale residents Joe Reynolds, Donna Beth McCormick and Maurice Anderson spoke in opposition to STRs. Donna Beth said she has owned long-term rental properties in the neighborhood for many year and has never had a problem with them. She said people "want to know their neighbors. They are interested in preserving the quality of life in the neighborhood." Short-term rentals, she said, "need to be studied and regulated." People from other neighborhoods opposed to STRs complained about late night parties, traffic problems, lax code enforcement, parking problems, and, in one case, fireworks.
The number of home burglaries in Allandale was down last year but the number of Burglary of Vehicles was up dramatically. Criminals stealing from cars was the top crime in the neighborhood as it was in 2009. The number of Burglary of Vehicles increased 14% to 191 incidents, an average of 16 a month. Many of the incidents were people stealing from cars in parking lots at establishments along Anderson Ln and Burnet Rd. Nevertheless, there was a significant number of them that occurred within the borders of the neighborhood. Click here to see a table showing the residential incidents (excludes incidents reported on commercial properties).