What You Need to Know About Short-Term Rentals

One of the latest hot topics is the concern of short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods. In recent months, the City has received a number of requests from residents to limit or remove the allowance of short-term rentals. Currently, the City does not have a specific "short-term rental" ordinance as the legality of such an ordinance is being litigated in several lawsuits against cities in the State of Texas. However, the City of Plano has become the first Texas city to reach an agreement with Airbnb that will formalize the collection of local hotel taxes at a rate of 7 percent.

In other news across the state, the City of Austin is currently in litigation over its short-term rental ordinance with the Attorney General of Texas weighing in against Austin. Just last year, in May 2018, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against an HOA enforcement of short-term rentals, which encompassed similar legal issues as the City of Austin litigation. The Austin case is currently in an appeals court and we are closely monitoring the development of the law on this issue.

Although we are unable to enforce short-term rentals; we can address disturbances (such as noise) and behaviors (such as disorderly conduct), traffic violations, excessive occupancy, trash accumulation or other violations of the law. For assistance with disturbances, behavior concerns or street obstructions, please call 911. For excessive occupancy concerns or trash, call Property Standards at (972) 208-8150 or email   neighborhoods@plano.gov .
Love Where You Live Service Day Breaks Records

Plano's  Love Where You Live  Service Day (LWYL) on Saturday, April 27 focused on the Meadows-Ridgewood Neighborhood. With the tremendous help of 850 local volunteers and many local community partners, the event was a wonderful success. The LWYL program, sponsored by the City of Plano and its partners, is a neighborhood revitalization initiative focused on social and physical transformation within older Plano neighborhoods.

Volunteers and community partners assisted with 35 minor home repair projects, a neighborhood-wide litter cleanup and curb painting. Environmental Waste Services collected a record-breaking 20.9 tons of trash and 22.7 tons of landscape debris during this one-day event. Just imagine, 43.6 total tons is the same weight as 11 average-sized African elephants! Thank you for all those who chipped in at the April LWYL Service Day.

There are more volunteer opportunities through the  Plano CARES  program (Code Abatement by Residents Engaged in Service) held on the second Saturday of every month from March through November. Projects include: tree trimming, trash removal, fence repair and more. Click  here  for more information.
As the weather warms up and we spend more time outside, reduce mosquitoes by taking a few  simple steps .
  • Walk around your property and make sure to empty or store planters, containers, tires, buckets, pots and other open storage items holding water/moisture.

  • Remove tarps, trash can lids and yard debris which serves as a breeding habitat for mosquitoes.

  • Check/clean gutters and use mesh lids and tops.

  • Catch run-off water from gutters in rain barrels and use mosquito dunks or bits to keep mosquitoes from breeding.

Everyone benefits by controlling mosquitoes in your neighborhood. Enjoy the great outdoors by following these easy  tips .
Noon, Wednesday, May 22

Email us at  BEST@plano.gov with answers to the following three questions, along with your name. The winner is drawn from the correct responses and the prize is totally brag-worthy!

Name two Neighborhood Services volunteer opportunities
mentioned in this newsletter.
2 .
How many projects were completed during April's Love Where You Live Service Day ?
Name three ways to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
On January 24, the City conducted its Annual Homeless Census in Plano. Volunteers identified 103 people without shelter and an additional 176 in transitional or emergency shelters. There was a total of 279 adults and children experiencing homelessness on a night when temperatures were below freezing.

As homelessness in Plano increases, more resources are available to connect homeless residents to services and housing. A Neighborhood Services Housing and Community Services Coordinator provides service coordination for homeless residents from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Harrington Library every Wednesday. Additionally, homeless residents can visit Homeless Case Manager Cal Martinez on Wednesdays through Fridays at the Assistance Center of Collin County . Learn more and join local efforts to end homelessness. Get involved with Collin County Homeless Coalition and attend the Collin County Summit on Homelessness on Wednesday, May 22.
Let's Fix This Thing!
We have an  Emergency Home Repair Program  (EHRP) for unexpected problems around the house which pose an immediate threat to your family's safety, such as a broken air conditioner, heater or damaged sewer line. The EHRP offers a grant for repairs to residents who meet eligibility guidelines. For more information, call 972-208-8150. Never fear, the City of Plano is here!
Environmental Community Awards
Has your HOA or neighborhood group conducted a beautification project, worked to conserve resources or helped the environment? If so, then submit your nomination to win $500 at the 2020 Environmental Community Awards (ECA) and get your photo taken like these nice folks.

It's super easy!  Click here  for more information about the ECA's Community Award for Neighborhood Groups/Homeowners Associations .
Celebrating National Community Development Week
The impact of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program on local communities was celebrated nationwide during National Community Development Week, April 22-26.

Neighborhood Services hosted several community workshops throughout the week focusing on  fair housing  and senior resources . Check out our video and  wrap-up  to learn more about CDBG in Plano! 
Pop-Up Party With A Shady Give-a-Way
Planning to soak up the sun this summer at a neighborhood block party? Do it with our FREE Pop-Up Party Trailer!  Reserve  the trailer anytime from June through August and your neighborhood can receive free sunglasses!
Look No Further Because The
Best Is Here
Timber Brook was named one of the  Best Places to Live in America for 2019 , according to rankings released by Niche. Timber Brook made the list at number 22 in the nation and number one best place to live in Plano.

The   Best Places to Live  rankings include cities, suburbs and neighborhoods across America. Niche gives each location a grade with Timber Brook scoring an overall A+. Congratulations to the Homeowners Association's Board of Directors and the residents of Timber Brook!
Kick Back And Relax: Backyard Cottages
Recently, the Plano City Council adopted a Zoning Ordinance amendment allowing backyard cottages. Backyard cottages are permanent, detached, second homes located on an existing single-family lot. 

These tiny houses are commonly referred to as in-law suites, granny flats, casitas and pre-adulting pods. Typically, the diminutive dwellings are
pre-fabricated, modular homes built on a concrete foundation. They're designed for one or two people and the average cost for a motivated do-it-yourselfer is from $4,000 to $23,000...which includes a composting toilet if you're so inclined. For more information about backyard cottages,  click here .
Country Place Plano
Recognized as one of Plano's Platinum Neighborhoods , Country Place is a strong supporter of our community. Situated along Chisholm Trail and Country Place Drive, the neighborhood supports their residents, Plano, Collin County and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro.
At the heart of Country Place is service and the neighborhood annually supports two nonprofit organizations - the Assistance Center of Collin County
and Special Olympics. Residents donate to the Assistance Center of Collin County, in addition to volunteering at their Collin County Mud Bug Fest. For eight years, Country Place provided its common grounds for the Chili Cook Off hosted by Special Olympics. 
Country Place cares for their neighbors. Their Helping Hands program assists residents who need help with moving heavy furniture, putting up Christmas lights, mowing their lawn and more.
Is your neighborhood group searching for ways to serve the community? Check out the Neighborhood Services  volunteer page  or  Volunteers in Plano .
Lori Schwarz
Serving Plano Since 2013

1. Describe your role within the Neighborhood Services department?
I work with managers from three Neighborhood Services divisions: BEST Neighborhoods, Community Services and Property Standards. Our job is to ensure we meet the community's needs, especially in housing and neighborhoods. I work on things such as homelessness, housing needs, neighborhood engagement, property maintenance and zoning administration.
2. Why did you decide on this career path?
I'm not sure if I decided to take this career path or it decided to take me! I started in a completely different industry, but I always knew I wanted to make a positive difference in whatever community I was working with. This desire led me into a graduate degree in Historic Preservation. While I've practiced different aspects of city planning over the last 20 years, I really enjoy partnering with resident leaders to create neighborhoods that are great places to live.
3. What do you enjoy most about working at the City of Plano?
The people. I'm so impressed with how many employees truly care about our residents and go above and beyond to provide excellent services to the community. 

4. What is the one thing you want people to know about the Neighborhood Services department?
We are connectors and problem solvers. Our mission,  Connecting Community Needs with Community Resources , is at the heart of all we do. We partner with residents, neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations, civic/service based groups, nonprofits, businesses and other community-oriented groups to provide solutions. By working cooperatively, we make Plano a better place for residents, businesses and visitors.

5. What is a fun fact about where you grew up or something you enjoy outside of work?
I lived in Plano until third grade, then moved to a New Orleans suburb. Living in New Orleans inspired a love of architecture and food which continues today I love to travel to places with beautiful historic buildings, and enjoy the culture and food there.
6. Where is your favorite place in Plano and why?
It's a toss-up between Arbor Hills and Downtown Plano. Arbor Hills because my husband and I love hiking the trails with our two Australian Shepherds, Sydnee and Paxton. Downtown Plano for great restaurants, events and historic character.
Thank you for all you do to make our community a better place!