CCSTRA has spoken over the phone with Councilman Barrera. Councilman Martinez also acknowledged our email and thanked us for our useful comments. Councilman Barrera is on our side and believes there should be no limits on STRs. He agrees the nuisance STRs should be taken care of, but for the most part, STRs aren't a problem. We know Councilman Martinez and Councilman Hernandez also do not want to limit STRs and believe only nuisances should be taken care of.
Councilman Barrera, Martinez, Pusley, Molina, and Hernandez asked some excellent questions and made some excellent observations at the City Council Meeting on 5/17.
As of 5/24/22, CCSTRA has not received a reply from Councilman Pusley, Councilman Lerma, Councilman Molina, Councilman Smith, Councilman Hernandez, Councilman Hunter, Mayor Guajardo, or City Manager Peter Zanoni.
CCSTRA has reached out to every Councilman, the Mayor, and the City Manager and expressed their viewpoint of every STR should be treated equally and fairly.
Here are the key points:
City Staff has released what Phase 2 may look like. Phase 2 could allow 15-30% of STRs to operate in single-family residential throughout all areas of the City except Padre Island. This is not fair and equal in regards to property rights, but if this gets voted in, CCSTRA would have no legal standing because all of our Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate again. The Ordinance will be presented for a first reading to City Council on 6/28 and then for a final reading on 7/11. CCSTRA is going to wait and see what happens on 7/11.
CCSTRA has been in discussion with Van Huseman and John Swallow from Huseman Law Firm in Corpus Christi and J. Patrick Sutton from JPS Law Firm in Austin. The retainers for both attorneys combined is $25,000. So far, CCSTRA has raised $5,000 in funds, so we need a remaining $20,000 after credit card fees to pay for retainers.
Some of this money will go toward paying lawyer fees to fight citations and violations in municipal court that single-family residential homeowners have received. A larger part of the $25,000 we raise will also go towards trying to get a temporary short term injunction. There is no guarantee we will be granted an injunction. The judge will have to review our case and decide. Both law firms will confer and decide the best route of action to take. Mr. Sutton has previous experience with this matter so we will rely heavily on his recommendations. Both law firms agree it is best to take this case up to Federal court which it estimated to cost $100,000 or more.
A 'Join Now' page has been created with varying membership levels for you to get involved.
We will likely not raise all the funds needed for this case in the first round of fundraising, so please be prepared to help fund again in the future. A case of this type will likely take several years as it goes through the appeals process.
CCSTRA will be providing business receipts so you can write this off as a business expense.
CCSTRA spoke with attorney J. Patrick Sutton on Monday, 2/28/22. Mr. Sutton has an extensive background in fighting STR ordinances in other cities. Mr. Sutton took the Austin STR case to the Texas Supreme Court and won. He has also won numerous other cases involving STRs. Mr. Sutton has advised us to put together a group of 4-6 other STR owners who want to join together, share their stories, and help share the expense. This official alliance, CCSTRA, has been submitted to the state of Texas and takes 6-8 business days to approve and it has been formed with the IRS.
Short-term: Mr. Sutton advised we immediately apply for an injunction and, in the short term, we can also apply for a temporary restraining order while we’re waiting for an injunction. He estimated the initial cost to get to the point of having an injunction at around $25,000.
Long term: Mr. Sutton believes with the area we are in and the certain judges, we should push this to federal court instead of state. He said we need to have $100,000 in available funds in order to be prepared to do this. We wouldn’t want to go in and not have the funds to be able to complete our case.
Mr. Sutton said that no other city that has gone down this path has eased up until being forced to by the court.
We have to get on this as quickly as possible to get the temporary restraining order filed before this ordinance goes into effect for Flour Bluff and the Island on 3/15/22.
We have in the process of officially retaining legal services as we raise funds.
J. Patrick Sutton will be representing us federally.
You can read his extensive bio on his website: www.jpatricksuttonlaw.com
We are currently working on retaining local counsel.
About the Owners of CCSTRA
Zachary & Michelle Buford, husband and wife, reside in Tulsa, OK with their 5 children ages 3 thru 12. Zachary Buford is the co-owner of Wholesale Gadget Parts which wholesales cell phone repair parts to repair stores nationwide. Michelle Buford is a Real Estate Broker licensed in the state of Oklahoma. Zachary and Michelle bought a vacation home in Flour Bluff in 2021 which they plan to rent out about 48 weeks of the year.