Austin homeowners protest against short-term rentals

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by KVUE News

khou.com

Posted on July 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 22 at 6:42 PM

AUSTIN -- Dozens of Austin residents protested against the legalization of commercial short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods Saturday afternoon.

City council voted to allow 3 percent of all single family homes to be converted to short-term rentals in June. Businesses, like HomeAway, offer Austinites the ability to rent out their homes during events like SXSW and the ACL Music Festival.

Protesters argued some homes are being used for business purposes only and a cause a limited supply of housing, higher home owners' fees, and revolving doors in residential neighborhoods.

"They function as hotels," protester Tom Nuckols said. "If you have one next door to you, you don't have neighbors. You have an endless parade of people staying next to you."

The co-founder and chief strategy officer for HomeAway, Inc., Carl Shepherd, spoke out against the protesting.

"It's a simple, non-commercial use," Shepherd said. "The idea that this is commercial is only being spouted -- something that it's not."

Austin City Council will meet Aug. 2, 2012, to make a final decision.

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