Publications

09-Oct-2023

NEIGHBORS FIGHTING STRS: A PROPOSAL

by victor@cixxfive.com Terrence S. Welch

The history of municipal regulation of short-term rentals is well known. The current case law and a brief review of recent proposed legislation is addressed in this paper; however, this review goes further. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that both the state courts and the Texas Legislature will not be sympathetic to a high degree of municipal regulation, and in fact may only leave municipalities the option of enforcing traditional nuisance ordinances (loud noise, trash on public property, public intoxication, etc.) when property is offered for short-term rental. With that premise, the purpose of this paper is to consider an alternative that may be available to private property owners to address STRs in the event municipalities are stripped of most of their regulatory authority. While this proposal is not ideal, in areas where STRs are not welcome, this may provide private property owners with some recourse—assuming their neighbors agree with them!

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21-Apr-2023

HOT TOPICS IN TEXAS LAND USE LAW

by victor@cixxfive.com Terrence S. Welch

Both the curse and beauty of practicing local government law in Texas is that local governments often find themselves on the cutting edge of innovation, whether for good or for bad. This is particularly true in addressing land use matters. Ten or fifteen years ago, most cities did not anticipate that single-family homeowners would offer for rent to strangers a room or a portion of their homes for weekends, or that those same homeowners would ever consider renting their backyard pools or their gourmet kitchens and dining rooms to strangers on an hourly basis.

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03-Nov-2022

EMINENT DOMAIN FROM THE CITY STANDPOINT

by victor@cixxfive.com Robert F. Brown

As an attorney who represents condemning authorities, primarily municipalities, I have observed over the years numerous issues that arose during condemnation proceedings that, in hindsight and with slightly better planning, could have been avoided, or at least the resulting negative impacts of same minimized.

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21-Apr-2022

WE ARE FAMILY—OR ARE WE?

by victor@cixxfive.com Terrence S. Welch

Even if you are “that close,” or “living with all my sisters and me,” or are “giving love in a family dose,” does your local zoning ordinance consider you a “family” nonetheless? Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, the answer may be a resounding “no.”

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21-Apr-2021

Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid: The United States Supreme Court’s Latest Pronouncement on Unconstitutional Takings

by victor@cixxfive.com Terrence S. Welch Robert F. Brown

In June, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 6-3 decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, 141 S. Ct. 2063 (2021), wherein it held that a California law that provided union organizers limited access to agricultural worksites was a per se taking based upon the proposition that any governmental grant of physical access, no matter how time-limited or functionally constrained, constitutes a per se taking unless one of the Court’s articulated exceptions applies.

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06-Apr-2017

LAND USE ISSUES IN THE SHARING ECONOMY

by victor@cixxfive.com By Terry S. Welch Municipal Law Theories

“Sharing economy” is an umbrella term with a wide range of meanings, often used to describe economic and social activity involving online transactions. As the Federal Government writes, a variety of new business models have emerged in the past few years and are dramatically reshaping how services and products are provided in an expanding number of sectors. Fundamentally, sharing economy platforms use internet, smartphone and software technologies to create marketplaces that facilitate transactions between numerous peers—decentralized buyers and sellers who are frequently individuals or small entities.

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23-Apr-2020

HOT TOPICS IN LAND USE LAW

by victor@cixxfive.com By Terry S. Welch Municipal Law Theories

Local governments are often an incubator for novel land use practices— sometimes not because local governments themselves are necessarily innovative, but because local governments must respond to proposed innovative land uses. For example, most local governments did not adopt short-term rental ordinances in advance of the Airbnb or VRBO phenomenon; rather, short-term rental ordinances usually were adopted in response to the burgeoning short-term rental business already occurring in the community.

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16-Apr-2021

MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF GOVERNMENTAL USES

by victor@cixxfive.com By Terry S. Welch Municipal Law Theories

In day-to-day municipal land use practice, attorneys and planning staff often are required to address and evaluate whether a city’s land use regulations apply to other governmental entities. While we generally assume municipal zoning powers do not apply to the United States, state or county governments, and there is limited authority relative to public schools, is that actually correct?

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23-Mar-2018

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS IN THE LAND USE WORLD

by victor@cixxfive.com By Terry S. Welch Municipal Law Theories

As attorneys, we often encounter hot land use issues at local levels of government. While those issues may include the zoning application du jour or some other topic that results in droves of constituents descending on city council hambers or a county commissioners court meeting, there are a few issues out there that recently have become the subject of intense public debate.

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25-Apr-2019

WE CAN’T REGULATE THAT?

by victor@cixxfive.com By Terry S. Welch Municipal Law Theories

As attorneys who regularly confront land use issues, we often encounter certain areas where local governmental regulatory authority is either completely or significantly circumscribed by state or federal statutory authority. As a result, local governments are not free to undertake regulation without facing the potential that they may have just acted contrary to state or federal law.

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