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CS Room Rentals for Game Days Might Draw a Flag

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It's a growing trend in smaller cities where college football is king: renting rooms or a whole home to out-of-town fans. Officials with the City of College Station have started getting questions about whether it's allowed, and the answer is no...kind of.

Like many Southeastern Conference cities, there aren't enough hotel rooms in our area to meet demand for eight home football games, especially those bringing fans from the east. Hotels are booked, so fans are looking for alternatives like rental homes and rooms.

One caveat in College Station might bring pancakes and country landscapes to mind.

If you register with the city as a bed in breakfast, you've got the option to allow people to stay for pay. That involves the house being the permanent residence of the owner, the permanent residence of the proprietor, with a residential appearance, and no more than four unrelated people can stay there overnight. You'd have to work with the city on hotel occupancy taxes.

Bob Cowell with College Station planning and development says when the rules were written, College Station's leaders probably didn't anticipate today's environment.

"It was really set up so that a Ramada Inn couldn't open up in your neighborhood," he said. "It wasn't really set up for a 'can I rent a room,' 'can I rent a bed,' 'can I rent half my house' kind of thing, so we're kind of stuck with a legacy set of ordinances."

Cowell adds that because of the landscape changing here, College Station leaders could choose to take a look at the ordinance to see if a change is needed.

But here's the other caveat: Cowell says the city probably won't actively enforce the rules on the books unless there's something like neighbor complaints for noise violations or street parking that's unsafe.

However, the city also advises homeowners who are part of homeowners associations to check rules, because while the city may not hand out a citation, an HOA might.


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