A few weeks ago, the City of Amarillo sent out a document talking about zoning changes in our neighborhoods.

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If you're like me, you looked at in with utter confusion, and asked yourself what in the heck does this mean?

One of the zoning issues that came about from this letter is the subject of Airbnbs. Whoo, that sent people into a tizzy. But what was all the hullaboo about?

Welll...the City of Amarillo currently doesn't have any codes for Short Term Rentals and that is one of the main issues they are trying to define.

What is the definition of a short term rental?

According to the City or Amarillo:

Short-Term Rental : Any dwelling or portion thereof that is available for use or is used for accommodations or lodging for a period of less than 30 consecutive days by guests paying a fee or other compensation. This definition does not include a Bed and Breakfast, which is a separately defined and regulated use.

What's the difference between regular BnB's and short term rentals?

The City of Amarillo explained that:

Short-term rentals (STRs) (like AirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway) on the other hand are a new use that has never been defined in our zoning code. The new zoning code (as proposed) will add these STRs to the land use chart with no additional regulations. There will be no restrictions or regulations on STR’s except for paying HOT taxes (which state law and city ordinance already require them to pay.) The new zoning code (as proposed) will allow STRs in every zoning district since we do have existing homes/STRs even in light industrial zoning districts.

According to a document of questions about the zoning proposals:

Short term rentals have never been identified in the ordinance which created uncertainty as to whether they are allowed and/or what zoning districts they are allowed in at a minimum. The proposed code seeks to clarify this by defining STR's as a use and allowing them in all zoning districts with the exception of Heavy Commercial, Light and Heavy Industrial zoning districts.

They want to make sure that the codes also protect residential areas and the STR won't affect the residents who own homes and live in the areas.

They City of Amarillo did hold a meeting on Monday, March 28th, and voted to postpone the vote on all the new zoning proposals after hearing from the public.

All I know is that by the time the next meeting rolls around, I'll sure know what the heck they're talking about (kind of).

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