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Letter from the President: Needing Clarity of City Data

Updated: Jan 27

During the spring of 2021, the city called for open sessions for the general public and the STR ownership community. In those sessions the city represented that the STRs are growing substantially from 2018 – 2021. This was disputed and later revised to being flat from 2018 to 2021. As of June, the city settled at a total of 414 STR properties across all zoning types (residential R1, R2 and commercial) with an ESTIMATED 758 rentable structures. Later a second call to action was that STRs are creating the majority of code violations – city has very limited data on this. One of the first reports indicated that STRs in Fredericksburg proper were less than 5% of overall complaints. Obviously, that means that 95% of code violations are caused by residents and businesses. We then saw the code enforcement review phase transition from a court-based system to solely being reviewed and judged by the office of City Management. The city stated that this was done specifically for the STR community in a September meeting. The City most recently took the position that the real STR issue was a land use issue. In layman’s terms this means that it is a legal position to allow a city to change the conversation limiting individual land rights. Terms such as impervious cover, distancing, conditional use permits, and historic overlay regulations and CAPs now become language to control who can and cannot operate an STR. All of this language is now in the new ordinance being reviewed this Monday October 11, 2021 at 6:00pm at the University Center. We recently asked the city if an economic impact study had been completed. The City Manager’s response was “No”. It’s important to note that according to a study completed for the Office of the Governor of the State of Texas that Fredericksburg enjoyed an estimated $123M Travel Spend in 2020. No due diligence is being conducted to measure the potential impact that this far-reaching ordinance would have on our local economy or city budget.

The STR Alliance was founded by a small grassroots group of concerned citizens. We have conservatively logged 2,500 hours between the original founding 8 members. We have engaged legal counsel, purchased advertising as well as hosting two 100+ citizens group meetings to inform. All of this has been funded by the original 8 members. Currently the STR Alliance is engaging industry policy consultants as well as travel industry economists to review the potential impact to our citizens, workforce and municipal budget and to help guide us with options that work for STR hosts/ owners, neighbors and our city. Additionally, we are working to develop a partner summit specifically to inform our constituency, hospitality industry partners, citizenry and our city representatives. There are two main goals of this summit. First, provide best practices for positive workable solutions with examples of STR ordinances that are in place in various parts of the country. Secondly, we will look at what decisions of recent legal actions around the country in a review of potential options at our disposal. We are now at a point where we must ask our business affiliates and 400+ members to contribute to ensure that we have the resources to move forward and protect our property rights. See all levels of membership and sponsorship by following these links The STR Alliance is committed to continue advocating for all individual property rights in the City of Fredericksburg! Please attend the City Council workshop October 11th at 6:00pm at the University Center And join us in making a donation today! Randy Briley President Fredericksburg TX STR Alliance

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