Vote puts “Barndominium” rentals on hold

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LACY LAKEVIEW, Texas (KWTX) A tie vote by the Lacy Lakeview City Council derailed a local woman’s plans to rent out her popular “Barndominium,” which was renovated on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”

(Photo by Erin Zeller)

Kristi Bass has rented the renovated barn for an average of $1,200 a night since August and the Barndominium’s website shows reservations through November and in April and May of 2017.

The council voted 3-3 on a special use permit Tuesday night after approving a new city zoning ordinance governing rentals.

One council member abstained from the voting.

“Because there was a tie vote, the permit was not approved,” City Manager Keith Bond said Wednesday.

Bass purchased the lake-front property in August from the Meek family, who originally appeared on “Fixer Upper.”

She then listed it on a vacation rental website.

“Once they told me I needed a special permit, I took all of the measures to be compliant with the city. This is such a beautiful area and a great neighborhood, I want to be able to rent it out until one day I can move into it,” Bass said.

But several neighbors have lodged complaints about the traffic the property generates and about having strangers staying nearby.

“I hope we don't wind up with short term rentals that invade our lakes. We don't consider short time rental visitors as neighbors,” resident Lester Beaird said.

Bass counters than the increase in traffic is from sightseers who want to see the renovated barn, not from overnight renters.

“There is a lot of traffic, but it was that way before I bought it, before I even came on the scene and it will be that way regardless if I choose to rent the barn out," Bass said.

“I’m not able to utilize the vast majority of my property because people just don’t understand what I’m trying to do with it,” Bass said.

She said she plans to reapply for a new permit under the new city ordinance.