Here are the rules for vacation rentals in single-family zones across Corpus Christi

·4 min read

Short-term rentals are now allowed in single-family districts across Corpus Christi except on North Padre Island.

Short-term rentals, also called vacation rentals, are typically furnished apartments​, condos or houses where renters can feel more at home than they would at a hotel.

The city defines a short-term rental as a residential unit that is rented for less than 30 days.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, the City Council passed an ordinance allowing vacation rentals in single-family zoned neighborhoods in Corpus Christi excluding North Padre Island.

The measure is the second part of an ordinance that lessens restrictions on short-term rentals. Up until Tuesday, vacation rentals in single-family zones were operating illegally.

A photo illustration of short-term rentals available on Airbnb on Mustang and Padre islands on June 27, 2022.
A photo illustration of short-term rentals available on Airbnb on Mustang and Padre islands on June 27, 2022.

Council passed the first phase of the ordinance in January requiring short-term rental owners to register for a permit to operate their rentals legally. Registration for Flour Bluff and the island, which make up District 4, opened in March. Online registration for the rest of the city begins July 11.

Here's what you need for a permit

Vacation rentals not occupied by their owners will only be allowed to take up 15% of one side of a block. Owner-occupied rentals, which include garage or mother-in-law rental units, will not be limited.

Vacation rental owners can apply for a special exception to the block face percentage restrictions if their block is already at the 15% limit.

The fee to register for a permit will be $50 through the end of the year. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, short-term rental owners will need to reapply for a permit, and the fee will be increased to $250.  All vacation rentals will receive a permit number that will have to be added to any advertisements for the unit.

The permit application must contain the following:

  • A list of all owners, operators and agents (if applicable) of the short-term rental including names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.

  • A sketch of the floor plan, which identifies sleeping areas, proposed maximum number of guests, evacuation routes and location of fire extinguishers.

  • The name, address and 24-hour telephone number of a local contact person, who is the owner, operator or designated agent and who shall be responsible and authorized to respond to complaints concerning the use of the short-term rental.

  • A sworn self-certification that the owner of the short-term rental has met and will continue to comply with the standards and other requirements including, but not limited to, maintenance of insurance coverage of the unit.

How will complaints be handled?

The city is creating a 24-hour hotline residents can call to report any nuisances related to a short-term rental. The complaint will be routed to the 24-hour vacation rental contact, code enforcement or the police, depending on the situation.

The registered local contact shall be available by phone 24 hours a day to answer calls from the complaint helpline. The local contact is required to reach out to the occupant to resolve the issue within one hour of the receipt of a notification or attempted notification regarding a complaint.

An hour will be given to resolve the issue to avoid a violation. If the issue isn't resolved, the local contact will have another hour to visit the property to try to resolve the situation.

Development services must then be given a detailed report of the complaint and resolution or attempted resolution within the next 48 hours.

What about violations 

From mid-March to mid-May, the city issued roughly 100 citations, with fines up to $500, to short-term rental owners operating without a permit or in a single-family zone.

The city is adding four code enforcement officers and one administrative position to oversee short-term rental compliance. Violation fines will continue to be up to $500.

City officials hope to have all of the roughly 3,000 short-term rentals in Corpus Christi permitted by Sept. 1. In most cases, violations won't be issued until after that date.

Kathryn Cargo follows business openings and developments while reporting on impacts of the city government’s decisions. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe

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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Corpus Christi's rules for vacation rentals in single-family zones