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Boerne City Council approves Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Boerne City Council approved in a 5-0 vote an updated Short-Term Rental Ordinance at the August 8, 2023, council meeting.

The ordinance establishes updated requirements for any short-term rental (STR) in operation within the City of Boerne and its extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

Read the full ordinance.

“City Council and staff developed the updated ordinance to balance the safe operation of STRs in Boerne with the preservation of the city’s charm and community feel,” Assistant City Manager Kristy Stark said. “The updated ordinance will also bring clarity to the application process for STR property owners.”

City Council began considering an update to the STR ordinance earlier this year and tabled the discussion to allow staff time to research and work with existing STR owners and residents on a proposal. Below is a timeline of the process.

  • April 2023: Council considered ordinance and tabled until June.
  • June 2023: STR Roundtable and Council Discussion
  • July 2023: First Reading of STR Ordinance
  • August 2023: Second Reading and Adoption of STR Ordinance

A subcommittee was formed to develop recommendations for the STR ordinance with the goal of preserving the life, health, and safety of rental occupants. The subcommittee also formed its recommendations to preserve the character of local neighborhoods while minimizing any adverse impacts on the housing supply.

There are currently 97 registered STRs in the Boerne city limits, including 63 current permits and 34 temporary permits. There are 10 on a waiting list.

STR Location Requirements

The updated STR Ordinance establishes minimum operating distances for certain STRs based on the City’s existing zoning and overlay districts.

In areas of the city zoned for residential use, an STR cannot operate within 200 feet of another STR on the same block face. This includes properties zoned for residential use in the Historic, Downtown, and River Road overlay districts.

Properties zoned for commercial use within the Historic, Downtown, and River Road overlay districts have no separation requirements. STRs are not permitted in commercial zones outside of the Historic, Downtown, and River Road overlay districts.

Property owners may apply to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a special exception if their desired STR does not meet the location requirements.

STR Property Requirements

The updated STR Ordinance places the following requirements on rental properties and owners.

  • Permit Registration: A registration fee of $200 will be applied to all STRs in the city limits and the ETJ.
  • Permit Expiration: STR permits will expire two years from the effective date. Permits must be renewed within 30 days of the expiration date. A renewal fee of $200 will be applied.
  • Right of Reservation: A short-term rental permit may be reserved by the new property owner or operator within 90 days of the date of change in ownership. A transferee must complete a short-term rental permit application and inspection and submit all applicable fees as required by this ordinance. A short-term rental permit shall not be transferred or applied to another location.
  • Inspection: STRs in the city limits will require a safety inspection by City staff at a cost of $100. Property owners also have the option to hire an outside licensed inspector. STRs in the ETJ do not require an inspection.
  • Insurance: Property owners must provide proof of insurance with a minimum liability coverage of $500,000 per occurrence and $1 million in the aggregate.
  • Occupancy: STRs are limited to two people per bedroom plus two additional people.
  • Parking: STRs must provide one parking space per bedroom. Street parking is allowed.
  • Events: STR occupants are not allowed to host events.

Existing STRs

Current STR owners with a permitted property or a temporary permitted property have six months to comply with the City’s newly adopted STR Ordinance. The separation requirements do not apply to STR properties already permitted at the time of the new ordinance’s approval.

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