OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Calls for regulating short-term rentals are growing louder after a deadly shooting over the weekend in a south Overland Park subdivision. In fact, it’s the second shooting at a short-term rental in the Kansas suburb in less than a year.

The mayor says this latest shooting raised the issue to a new level of concern, something an Overland Park councilman said finally isn’t being ignored.

“Unfortunately, we have a history of issues with what are referred to as party rentals, which is a subcategory of short-term-rentals,” said Dr. Faris Farassati, councilman in Overland Park.

Now leaders are wasting no time — ready to take action now.

“We’re going to have a discussion about what is the right rules and regulations for short-term rentals in our residential neighborhoods,” said Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog.

It’s a sentiment that Farassati agrees with, saying homes shouldn’t be used as hotel rooms.

“It cannot be that you don’t live in that place, you buy a place, and you essentially run a motel there, because that is inconsistent with the residential zoning,” Farassati said.

Both the mayor and the councilman said whatever decision is made must have significant public input because the last thing they would want to do is to infringe on people’s property rights.

The question is where do you draw the line? For Farassati, it’s when the safety of neighborhoods become an issue.

“We are concerned, we don’t feel safe, we can’t send our kids out during the weekend because we are worried what’s going to happen,” he said.

This discussion comes as Anthony Smith appeared in court Tuesday. Smith was charged with second-degree murder in Sunday’s deadly shooting. He plead not guilty.

Elected officials said the days of ignoring the problem are gone, and they are taking this seriously.

“If somebody has paint peeling on their walls, we go write them a citation. How could we leave an important issue like this?” Farassati said.

The mayor said the discussion around the issue of these short-term rentals will start April 4.

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