Item 04: Rental Property Standards- City Code

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Staff member
Consider approval of Ordinance 2024-14, on the second of two readings, amending Chapter 34, Article 7, Rental Property Standards, of the San Marcos City Code by updating the regulations governing Short-Term Rentals; providing a savings clause; providing for the repeal of conflicting ordinances; and providing an effective date.


CoSM Members
This version is still confusing. Lots of text in yellow that is not new since the first reading; it's been there since first reading.
And we still have in the definitions:
"Agent means a person designated by the short term rental owner or operator in lieu of themselves as the 24-hour emergency contact for a lawfully operating short term rental."
"Local responsible party (Local Contact) means the Owner, Operator, or person designated by the Owner or the Operator, who shall be available 24 hours per day for the purpose of responding to concerns or requests for assistance related to the Owner's Short Term Rental
who has access to the premises and is authorized to make decisions regarding the premises."
"Short term rental permit means the permit issued by the city that identifies the subject property as a lawful short term rental, the short term rental permit number, the names and contact information of the owner, operator, and agent if applicable, and 24-hour emergency contact phone for at least one of the preceding."
So who is the local responsible person? Agent? Local responsible party? Local Contact?
Definitions section: Good cause includes both agent and local responsible party.
"Sec. 34.805. Short term rental permits.
(a) (1) A list of all owners, operators, and agents (if applicable) of the short term rental including names, addresses, current email address(es) of owner/operator, and telephone numbers."
"(7) The name, address and 24-hour telephone number(s) of a local responsible party, 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."
AND we use two of them in the same subsection.
Sec. 34.811. Enforcement, violations, penalty.
(d) Emergency contact. During any period when a Short Term Rental is occupied or intended to be occupied by Guests, the Local Contact Person shall be available 24 hours per day for the purpose of responding to concerns or requests for assistance related to the condition, operation, or conduct of Guests of the Short Term Rental. The local responsible party shall respond within 60 minutes of being notified of concerns or requests for assistance regarding the condition, operation, or conduct of Guests of the Short Term Rental, and shall take immediate remedial action as needed to resolve such concerns or requests for assistance.

Please, which is it or explain why we need all 3 terms and they are sometimes used interchangeably and others not. It looks like "agent" may be more of a legal term and "contact" used for this ordinance but there's still a lot of overlap.


Staff member
Response provided by Greg Carr, Director of Neighborhood Enhancement:

The following changes are being made to the Ordinance 2024-14 which is item number 4 on the April 16th regular agenda. Staff will introduce the changes on the attached slides at the Council meeting when this item is being considered by Council.

The terms agent and local responsible party are similar yet different. Agent takes on a legal responsibility with a property. The ability to make decisions that can legally affect the property. Changes were made to the definition of Agent.

The local responsible party for the purpose of this ordinance is just the person that shall be responsible for responding to issues at the Short Term Rental 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It does get confusing as the owner or agent could also act at the local responsible party. I expect that many of the owners will name themselves as the local responsible party for contact purposes. Local Contact Person was replaced throughout with Local Responsible Party.


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