Short Term Rental

Short-term Rentals in Wimberley

Obtaining a Permit 

Wimberley’s popularity as a vacation destination has continued to grow in recent years. Lodging options in the city limits include several resorts, bed-and-breakfasts and inns. Short-term rentals in homes have become more prevalent due to increased demand for overnight accommodations. Vacation rentals may also be sought by property owners as income.

The City’s Planning Department manages the process for Issuing permits for short-term rentals (STRs). The property owner must apply for the permit, known as a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), which requires final approval by the City Council.

Types of STRs

STR 1- An STR 1 is defined as a vacation rental where the property owner lives on the property where the guest facility is rented.

STR 2- An STR 2 is defined as a vacation rental where the property owner does NOT reside on the property.

About Zoning and Conditional Use Permits

The city has various zoning districts for residential and commercial uses. However, STRs are not a permitted use in these categories. This means that ALL STRs must obtain a Conditional Use Permit, or CUP.

Upon approval, the STR is required to pay state Hotel Occupancy Tax of 6 percent, and the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax of 7 percent. This is a tax that is passed through to the consumer and appears as a separate line item on the consumer’s bill for the rental.

 Additionally, the property is subject to the all of the city’s ordinances, including but not limited to septic compliance, parking requirements, noise mitigation, and dark sky lighting.

During the application process conditions may be placed on the CUP by City Council such as a maximum guest occupancy. Failure to comply with these conditions can result in the CUP being revoked. If approved by City Council, the CUP will be an amendment to the zoning of the property and will remain on the property indefinitely. 

A City Council Vote is Required to Approve a CUP

The City Planner will notify neighbors within 200 feet of the property of the owner’s intention to receive a CUP. Per state law, if a total of 20 percent or more of the contiguous property owners oppose the CUP (by % of land area), a super majority of City Council is necessary for the CUP to be approved. That means that four out of the five Council Members must vote “yes” on the permit. 

Council may also consider other factors in awarding the permit. These might include public safety and overall community issues.

Considerations Before You Apply

  • If the property is on a septic system, is there adequate capacity?
  • Do the property owners have emergency procedures outlined for guests?
  • Is there adequate parking?
  • Are there residential neighbors? If so, how will they be affected by the STR?
  • Will neighbors support the CUP?

Steps for the applicant

The application fee for a CUP is non-refundable. For this reason, it is advisable to be aware of your neighborhood’s appropriateness and your neighbors’ receptiveness to a vacation rental.

Due diligence on the part of applicants is strongly recommended. The City recommends that applicants:

  • Approach their neighbors and let them know that they are considering applying for the permit. If the neighbors have concerns, address those concerns prior to submitting the application if possible;
  • Review the application and collect the required information and documents;
  • Ask any questions of the City Planner; and
  • Complete the application and submit.

The Planner will be able to provide a timeline of how quickly the application can be processed.  The legal requirements for public notifications, proper notice and review by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council’s meeting schedules are the determining factors on timeline after the application has been submitted. Typical processing time is 45 to 60 days.

Steps for the city

  • City Planner Reviews Application
  • Planner posts a sign on the property regarding the application
  • Planner sends letters to property owners within 200 feet of the subject property
  • Planner publishes a legal notice of the request for change in status of the property in the city’s newspaper of record (currently The Wimberley View)
  • Upon completion of all public notices, the Planner places the item on the official public agenda for Planning & Zoning Commission, which includes a public hearing. At the public hearing, citizens may make comments regarding the application or voice support or opposition to the to the CUP.  Ideally, the applicant attends the meeting to discuss the application and answer any questions the commissioners might have.
  • The application is reviewed and acted upon by the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission. The application is then referred to City Council, regardless of it is approved or disapproved by the Commission, per state law.  
  • The item is then placed on the official public agenda for the next City Council meeting. A second public hearing is held and application is reviewed for final action by the City Council. The vote of the City Council is the final step in the process.