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Corpus Christi starts short-term rental registration

All owners of short-term rental properties in Corpus Christi must register their properties beginning July 11 to operate legally in the city. Courtesy photo

City Council approves Phase Two of STR ordinance

Phase 2 of the new short-term rental ordinance goes into effect for most of Corpus Christi on Monday, July 11. The City Council voted 7-2 in support of the new phase at its meeting June 28.

Short-term, or vacation, rentals are now allowed and regulated in Corpus Christi single-family residential districts, except within the Padre/Mustang Island Area Development Plan. Short-term rentals still will be prohibited within single-family-zoned areas on North Padre Island.

A short-term rental is a lease for a property for less than 30 days.

All Corpus Christi rental owners must register with the city to operate an STR legally. Registration is $50. Flour Bluff proposed STR units located within single-family-zoned areas are included in the application process.

The fee for registration and renewal will go up to $250 on Jan. 1, 2023. Yearly registration is mandatory to continue renting homes short term.

The recent approval for the rental ordinance follows months of discussion with city leaders and residents. A 17-member stakeholder advisory group, made up of vacation rental owners and residents from each city district, began meeting in February.

The group evaluated single-family zones that appeared suitable to allow STRs while balancing the integrity of the neighborhood.

In January, the City Council approved the first phase of the ordinance, requiring registration of rentals. Residents had to register in approved zones, primarily multi-family units, for North Padre Island and Flour Bluff by March 15 to obtain a permit to operate legally.

The efforts are to provide regulation and monitoring of short-term rentals in Corpus Christi. Noise, parking, and trash collection are some of the issues addressed.

The registration ordinance helps the city identify vacation rentals that are operating illegally. Software is in place to scrub advertisement sites for permit numbers. Once notified of a non-compliant property, owners have 30 days to register.

Short-term rental owners have enhanced responsibilities and can be cited for nuisance violations. Four code compliance officers are dedicated to enforcing this part of the ordinance. A 24-hour short-term rental helpline is available.

For each issue cited, owners could face up to a $500 fine. After three citations a year, the permit may be revoked.

Phase 2 also limits non-owner-occupied short-term rentals to 15 percent of all homes on one side of a street in a neighborhood. An appeals process is in place for community support for more STRs on the street.

The initial push to regulate short-term rentals comes after complaints to law enforcement and the city. Vacation rentals on the island sometimes bring loud noises late at night, additional street trash, and vehicles parked illegally in residents' driveways.

Other cities in Texas have similar ordinances in effect for STRs in single-family zones. Regulation of how many short-term units available in various places in the city is common across the state.

Corpus Christi residents who live near an STR that they believe is operating illegally or violating a city ordinance may report it to the city Code Enforcement site or call 361-826-2489.

The City Council will review the effectiveness of the ordinance in six months.

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