Bookings for the Barndominium vacation rental in Lacy Lakeview will continue after a McLennan County judge denied a temporary injunction to force owner Kristi Bass to stop offering the service.
Judge Jim Meyer in McLennan County’s 170th State District Court ruled Friday against the temporary injunction the city of Lacy Lakeview requested for the property at 123 Spring Creek Drive. Bass testified that she has confirmed bookings through the end of the year.
She has been ticketed twice, accused of city ordinance violations.
“We are obviously pleased with the ruling to allow Kristi to continue to do what she continues to do, so we hope that it will continue,” Bass’ attorney R. John Cullar said. “The next step will be to have a trial, so there are still issues to be resolved, but at this point, there is no injunction to prevent her from acting.”
In May, Lacy Lakeview City Attorney David Deaconson requested the injunction to stop Bass from renting her 2,700-square-foot former horse barn that was renovated on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” The city denied a special permit for Bass in March, but she continued renting out the property.
“This will continue to move in the discovery phase toward trial and onto trial,” Deaconson said after the hearing. “This is a process the city felt it had to pursue and did pursue because it feels that it needs to have viable ordinances.”
The dispute between Bass and the city has continued since she bought the property almost a year ago from Todd and Lexia Meek, who owned it when it was featured during the third season of “Fixer Upper.” Bass said she hoped to benefit from the popularity of “Fixer Upper” hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines and the couple’s Magnolia Market at the Silos by renting the house through VRBO.
Lacy Lakeview City Manager Keith Bond testified in the hearing that Bass had tried twice to gain a permit for renting out the property, but the city never approved it. Bond said the city continues to receive complaints about the property and the attention it is attracting to the neighborhood.
Bass said she rents the property out to one person at a time, and that renter has to sign a liability wavier accepting all responsibility for house guests, up to 20 people.
She said she does not ask for names or ages of additional guests. Although she initially advertised the property as a wedding or event venue, Bass told the judge she has never hosted a formal event at the location.
After the hearing, Bass said she was pleased with the outcome and will continue with the rentals.
Cullar said the city can benefit from the property also.
“She likes Lacy Lakeview, and it is a great property,” Cullar said. “Sharing the property with people is a great thing and a great thing for Lacy Lakeview, we think, too.”