Despite being a locally based business that employs plenty of Austinites, HomeAway, it appears, doesn't have the stroke at City Council (or the petitions) enjoyed by its sharing economy counterpart Uber.
As the city's long battle over short-term rentals played out, HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples jumped in to lead protests in the street and on the pages of the Austin Business Journal; he even proposed to set up a program to deal with complaints. Despite his protestations, along with those of AirBnB and Austin real estate groups, the Journal reports that on Tuesday council voted for several changes for STR-2 rentals—commercial rentals in residentially zoned areas—including a measure to phase them out entirely by 2022.
The fight over short-term rentals, brought to the CIty Council in part by residents upset about "party houses" and the general degradation of their neighborhoods, has taken up quite a bit of council's time over the past few months. Those in favor of STR-2s argued that the issues were the fault of a few "bad actors" and that the city already had the tools to shut down disruptive behavior.
The city had already declared a moratorium on new type 2 rentals and created licensing and other requirements for all types of short-term rentals. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Mayor Steve Adler made a last-minute attempt to get the decision postponed until the moratorium ends in April 2017, but his amendment failed.