Austin an example of gong too far


STRs play important part in our community


We need look no farther than one hour east to see a market where the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater.

Austin has decided to phase out short-term rental (STR) permits by 2022. And they are being sued by the Attorney General of Texas.

On this issue, AG Ken Paxton is correct. As Fredericksburg tries to implement some regulation on STRs (outlined on the next page by our guest columnist), Austin has decided to do away with them altogether. “By taking away its citizens’ property right to lease their homes as they see fit, the city has violated their constitutional rights,” Paxton said.

Let’s keep that perspective in mind as we wade through the first months of newly enacted STR ordinances. Austin has had regulation for some time. But instead of facing new technologies, such as Airbnb, or addressing its own affordability issues, Austin’s city government has declared no more rentals at all.

STRs play an important part in our community, providing a nice spot for visitors to enjoy (and spend money in) our town. Most are quiet and respectful visitors, and, yes, a few guests have too much to drink and cause disturbances. That is one thing the city’s regulations seek to address.

There is a big distance between asking for sensible regulations and decreeing that no one may rent out their home. Fredericksburg and Austin offer a stark contrast in how to manage this issue. – K.E.C.