Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Fredericksburg TX Short Term Rental Alliance (FBGTXSTRA)?
We are a grassroots group of local residents who formed the Short Term Rental (STR) Alliance in the spring of 2021. All of the officers are residents and property owners within the city. We now estimate that we have approximately 1,000 paid members and followers of the Alliance. Read more
Is it true the Alliance is only funded by large corporations and investment companies?
Absolutely not, 99% of all of the funds raised by the Alliance have come from neighbors, residents, and small businesses based in Fredericksburg. Donations range from $5 and up. This is a grassroots funded effort by people who live here and care about our community, churches, schools and our town.
When I join FBGTXSTRA, how is my contribution used?
The Alliance strives to bring the best information available regarding short term rental policies for our community and for our members. Our leadership is comprised of committed volunteers. To date we have focused our funds raised by member dues and sponsorships on three primary areas; STR governmental policy advisement, an economic impact and jobs study specifically created for Fredericksburg, and our grass roots communications. The funds for our Hospitality and Good Policy Summit were provided by the generous donations of our event sponsor and gifts in kind.
If the STR issue is so important, where was the Alliance in 2018?
Our president, Randy Briley, was on the city's visioning committee 4 years ago and authored a formal citizens recommendations document to the city to carefully monitor and manage the growing trend of STRs being preferred by leisure travelers visiting Fredericksburg. Recommendations included the oversight of the STR industry to manage responsible growth while balancing the needs of our residents and neighborhoods. Between 2021 and 2022 the Alliance has now logged over 3,000 volunteer hours to help provide ordinance input and recommendations to our city to ensure we have fair and balanced legislation for STR owners and for our Fredericksburg residents.
I’m a resident and don’t own an STR. Will the newly proposed ordinance fines affect me?
Yes, there are several ordinances linked not only to STRs but residents and businesses as well. Current drafts of ordinances include fines of up to $500 for noise, lighting and fire-pit regulations. For example – having friends over to enjoy and evening in your backyard would likely violate the decibel levels of the proposed noise ordinance, especially after 10pm.
Does the Alliance understand the desire for residents to enjoy our neighborhoods?
Yes! All of our Alliance leadership lives in the city, in the residential areas of our town. We understand and encourage our city officials to hold the minority of offending guests and property owners accountable under the 2018 regulations. Laws not enforced serve no value.
I don’t own an STR. Will a new STR ordinance negatively affect me?
Yes, to date we have seen four different drafts of a new STR ordinance. Each approaching different ways of drastically reducing STRs. According to the Gillespie CAD, STRs pay up to 25% more in property taxes than a neighboring home. A reduction of STRs is likely to create either a dramatic increase in property taxes for everyone or, a dramatic decrease in City services and staff. Budget reductions could cause city staff layoffs or reduction of services we currently enjoy like leaf and branch pick up services, street sweeping, recycling, street improvements, water and sewer improvements, maintenance of parks and more.
Why should the food and beverage and retail industries care about this issue?
According to a 2019 report by the Office of the Governor, after lodging, the Food & Wine Industry is the largest recipient of direct spending by short-term rental guests in Fredericksburg, with retail following close behind. The hospitality industry is an eco-system of closely related businesses supporting each other and tourism.
How many people work in the STR industry? Do STRs really matter to local jobs?
STRs are responsible for thousands of jobs in Fredericksburg and the surrounding area including food service, retail, real estate, transportation and services. Find out how STRs directly and indirectly affect our local economy at our upcoming Summit. Economist, John Hockenyos will be highlighting his Economic Impact & Jobs Report specifically for Fredericksburg with more detailed information. We invite you to join us at our Hospitality & Good Policy Summit. Go to FBGTXSTRA.com for date, location, and more details.
Are STRs rapidly increasing?
No, in 2018, prior to the most recent STR ordinance, city staff estimated there to be between 800-900 STRs in operation. Fast forward to 2021: In May of 2021 city staff reported 758 STR Permits with 161 in process. In December of 2021 Council Member O’Neill reported there were 768 STR Permits with 104 in process – a decrease of 5% from May numbers. Total STR Permits and those “In Process” (renewals and new permits) have declined 5% from May of ’21 to December of ’21. In reality, the overall number of STRs have been relatively flat since 2018.
Is it true that over 20% of homes in Fredericksburg are STRs?
According to data presented by city staff in May of 2021 6% of single-family homes are STRs (R1 Zoning). This includes homes that are owner occupied. 14% of R2 properties (multiple dwelling units) are STRs. All together 7.5% of all residential lots in May (R1-R2-R3) are STRs. All other STRs are in Commercial zoning areas.
Are STRs to blame for increasing local Real Estate Prices?
No, the Average Real Estate Prices for family homes in Texas was up by 18.6% in 2021 vs 2020 – in Fredericksburg it was up by 19% for homes within the city limits. This is mirroring prices across Texas as a whole. Data Source: local realtor, Mike Starks.
Are there really over 1700 STRs in Fredericksburg?
No, this number has been misconstrued and is misleading. The Alliance addressed this in our summer public meetings and at the City Council STR Workshop last Fall. As the Alliance reported last year: there in are 708 square miles in our zip code – the smallest area that the leading industry analytics company, AirDNA, collects data for. The City of Fredericksburg by comparison is 9.25 square miles. For our 708 square mile zip code area, AirDNA reports 1775 STRs which includes some hotel rooms (Jan ‘22). Our city staff and Council Member O’Neill last reported 768 Permitted STRs in the City of Fredericksburg (Dec ’21). That is almost 1000 fewer STRs than what some groups are inaccurately reporting here in town.
Is it true that the city contributed to the Hospitality and Good Policy Summit?
Not true, the city did not commission an economic impact study for the STR discussion. The Alliance was specifically instructed by the city not to pursue any city funding for this event. The Alliance underwrote the full cost of the Summit through generous donations of our sponsors and gifts in kind.
Why the need for The Hospitality & Good Policy Summit?
Tourism is central to city of Fredericksburg’s economy (behind agriculture) and the revenue that it brings to our community. We have learned that overnight guests generate 6 times the amount of tourists who simply day trip here. If there is a reduction of existing STRs we will see a reduction of overnight stays by our visitors and a reduction of discretionary spending that positively impacts our restaurants, wineries, retail shops and historic attractions.
I own an STR in Fredericksburg. I want to be a good neighbor. What can I do to make sure I am using best practices?
I want to own an STR in Fredericksburg. What do I need to know?
Click here to start your journey of operating an STR in Fredericksburg, Texas. There you will find everything you need and more.