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    Dallas Ban Has Short-Term Rental Owners Facing Tough Business Decisions

    As short-term rental (STR) owners in Dallas process the city's newly approved restrictions, some say they are moving out of state, while others are considering a legal challenge. “You can’t put (roughly) 1,700 entrepreneurs out of business in one fell swoop who are obeying the law, and not have anything to say about it,” said Lisa Sievers, an owner of two East Dallas properties, which she has rented on Airbnb since 2019. “For the city to just kind of say, ‘Uh, sorry, y’all go fish now,’ it just strikes me as something that’s unfair and perhaps not very well thought out.” Sievers, who sits on the board of the Dallas Short Term Rental Alliance, wants to use the legal challenges of Grapevine, Fort Worth, and other cities as a model for a lawsuit in Dallas. The group has already retained a law firm on an “advisory” status, Sievers said. “There’s a lot of cities that have gone down this road because the basic bottom line is that bans don’t work,” Sievers said. “I think the city of Dallas is going to be finding that out very shortly.” In September 2018, Grapevine revised an existing zoning ordinance to clarify the definition of an STR, and affirm the rentals were always prohibited. In that instance, a Texas court of appeals ruled in favor of STR owners who claimed the ban was unconstitutional. In Arlington, a similar STR ban warded off legal challenges, partly because the city already had a definition of “lodging” that shielded them from grandfathering issues. But the Dallas City Council has voted to change its code retroactively, which may complicate its legal merit, legal experts say.

    Dallas Morning News (07/06/23) Jason Beeferman

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