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Corpus Christi City Council greenlights phase 2 of short-term rental ordinance

Phase two will now allow and regulate short-term rentals in zones that are considered single-family residences.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The highly debated issue over short-term rentals is now a reality for the City of Corpus Christi. 

After months of discussion, council members gave the green light to move forward with phase two of the plan. 

It was back in January when the council approved the first phase of the ordinance. Residents had to register in approved zones for North Padre Island and Flour Bluff by March. 

The rest of the City will be required to do so by July 11.

Phase two will now allow and regulate vacation rentals in zones that are considered single-family residences.

Tuesday move didn't come without some restrictions.

Short-term rentals would still not be allowed in single family zoned areas in Padre Island.

"It looks like redlining, I say that because I live in an RS-6, I'm being discriminated against differently than what's on the island," said Corpus Christi councilman Gil Hernandez.

Another part of phase two will limit non owner occupied short-term rentals to 15% of all homes on one side of a street in a neighborhood. Residents will need to register every year. 

A fee will increase from $50-to-250 next year.

On North Padre Island, short-term rentals will still be prohibited within single family zoned areas.

"Its not the entire Island excluded, in fact 75 percent of the Island can do it," said Daniel McGinn, the director of planning for Corpus Christi.

The ordinance also addresses enhanced responsibilities for short-term rental owners and nuisance violations. There will be four code compliance officers dedicated to this as well as a 24 hour short-term rental helpline.

Owners could face up to 500 dollars per issue. When they reach three citations in a year, they can have their permit revoked.  

"If we don't pass something today everybody who is operating STR's is operating illegally," said councilman Greg Smith.

After much back and forth, phase two passed in a 7-to-2 vote with council members Billy Lerma and Gil Hernandez voting against the measure.

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