Guest house

The Frisco City Council approved a zoning ordinance amendment Tuesday that will allow a guest house or garage apartment to be rented out by the homeowner.

The current requirements state that a guest house may not be rented and that a guest house and garage apartment may not be sublet by a tenant.

Anthony Satarino, the city’s planning manager, said this has created confusion about renting the unit.

“Staff has recognized the need to update these regulations to clearly identify standards for rental of the units associated with single-family dwelling units to provide a diversity of housing in Frisco and to meet a housing need for people seeking a smaller living unit and/or live closer to their place of employment,” Satarino said.

The amendment allows a garage apartment or a guest house to be rented only if the main dwelling is owner occupied.

Mayor Jeff Cheney said the rationale for that is so the homeowner can keep an eye on the garage or guest house and maintain it.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the amendment back in July.

One resident spoke in favor of the change.

“As Frisco grows the affordability of housing is an issue, and I think this is a creative way to help solve that,” said resident Matt Calloway.

Calloway said other areas, such as the Park Cities, use regulations like this really well.

“As Frisco continues to get more college students, more professionals and the elderly population, I think this is a creative way to allow housing for them and me as a homeowner to help with expenses on my property, too,” Calloway said. “So it’s kind of a win-win.”

Councilman Will Sowell asked how this ordinance would affect short-term rentals on these types of units. Satarino said short-term rental would still be allowed, though the main dwelling would still have to be owner occupied.

Satarino said if the main house is a rental house, the person living there could use the garage or guest house but couldn’t rent it out to someone else.

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