KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s mayor hopes to find a compromise.
The city council could settle the debate over short-term rentals in the city on Thursday. That’s when councilmembers are expected to vote on two ordinances to regulate short-term rental properties, many of which are listed by services such as VRBO and Airbnb.
Mayor Quinton Lucas said he sees both sides of this debate.
City councilmembers are concerned about unregistered short-term rentals, saying there are about 1,400 of them in Kansas City.
There’s a significant concern over short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods, since neighbors sometimes complain of crimes, noise and litter that comes from them.
Rental owners complain they have rights — but so do the homeowners.
“We’ve got some challenges with disruptions to neighborhoods — the nuisance side of this — quite a few issues that needed to be addressed,” Fourth District Councilman Eric Bunch said.
“My constituents spoke about that and came forward with an ordinance that effects the desire of those community members.”
Kristen Doppler, who represents the Kansas City Short Term Rental Alliance, owns more than 70 rental properties of her own.
She’s aware those proposed ordinances will potentially restrict where rental properties can operate. They’ll also give city leaders the ability to fine rental owners who aren’t registered with the city and give the city’s Department of Neighborhoods the jurisdiction to manage it all.
“This is really going to affect our industry,” Doppelt said. “There would be no future for short-term rentals in residential zones. We would have to open them up here in the Crossroads or the West Bottoms. They wouldn’t be allowed in neighborhoods.”
“Kansas City is a growing city. We want to make sure certain plots don’t become full hotels, basically, which is what this will be. I think this ordinance strikes the right balance,” Lucas said Monday.
Proposed new restrictions would require rental owners to pay a $200 annual registration fee. City leaders report receiving nearly 200 new requests for licenses in recent months.
If the ordinances are passed on Thursday, some restrictions would go into effect as early as June 15.