San Marcos Neighborhood Commission proposes limiting rooms landlords rent out due to noise complaints


SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A San Marcos commission that works alongside city council wants to tighten up the rules for short-term rentals.

The commission said it’s seeing most of the problems with a lot of noise and disruption in the Historic District. It proposed limiting the amount of rooms landlords can rent out in Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Currently, landlords are allowed the rent out five rooms. Commission members want to knock that number down to two.

It was a fairly quiet Tuesday evening in the Historic District, but neighbors say by nightfall, that changes.

“I hear it when I go outside with my dog for a walk,” Neighbor Bill Agnew said.

Agnew has seen more students trickling into his neighborhood, making it nosier than he’s used to.

“Talking, music, etc. that comes from those groups,” he said. “And that’s been increasingly common in this part of town.”

The City of San Marcos said there are 56 short-term rental homes within its city. City rules already require the owners must live in them.

“One of the concerns… the people that were registered for the short-term rentals were not actually residing at the residence,” Chair of the Neighborhood Commission Roland Saucedo said.

Saucedo said the commission wants to clarify the language to really make sure the law can be enforced. He also feels further limiting room rentals would prevent multiple renters from packing into one house, causing more disruption.

“I do understand the concerns that we might be being too stringent, but at the same time our primary focus is to make sure to protect the citizens of the neighborhoods,” Saucedo said.

Agnew feels the change could be useful if city council decides to move forward.

“It would help just as far as limiting the amount of people in the neighborhood,” Agnew said.

When the change was presented to council, Director of Neighborhood Enhancement Greg Carr suggested focusing enforcement on the renters rather than landlords.

“I believe the emphasis needs to be changed from use to behavior… have really restricted behavior requirements that can get someone’s permit revoked,” Carr said.

At this point, it’s unclear when or if the council will make ordinance changes. To report what you believe to be an illegal short-term rental, you can contact code compliance office.

There was also a concern about whether landlords are following the current law requiring them to live on the property where they’re renting rooms out.

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