OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Overland Park Police are continuing to investigate a weekend shootout connected to a short-term rental property. The incident is sparking a new look at how the city regulates such properties.
A home at 151st Place and Lamar has been listed on at least two popular travel sites for about $300 a night.
“You have tremendous amounts of people just come and go,” said neighbor Jimmy Flippin.
Neighbors say it’s often a party house, but things have never gotten as bad as they did this weekend.
Saturday, they estimate 75 partiers were lining the streets. By 11 p.m. the gathering turned violent, with dozens of shots fired through the neighborhood.
“It was quick fire and lots of it,” Flippin said.
City councilman Dr. Faris Farassati said he was just in this area Friday, talking to residents with worries about a new development nearby. A few of them were also raising concerns about a spike in the number of short-term rental properties in the area bringing noise, traffic and safety issues.
“The weekend is supposed a time for enjoying yourself and now these neighbors are very nervous, what’s the next extremely dangerous situation that might happen,” Farassati said.
Right now, Overland Park city code does require rental properties get a license and exterior inspection. But many short-term rentals fly under the radar and are typically only caught if property tax bills are being sent to another address.
There is a process for addressing problem properties, and if issues aren’t fixed, it can lead to rental licenses being revoked. But right now, there are no specific rules for short-term rentals.
Farassati thinks it’s time for that to change.
“My belief is that we need to look into a more restrictive and stringent program with the top priority being safety and peace in the neighborhood,” he said.
That could also include limiting how many short-term rentals can be located within one neighborhood.
Neighbors hope any changes include new ways to go after owners when properties are the constant source of trouble.
FOX4 made several attempts to contact the owner of the short-term rental where Saturday’s fight and shootout happened, but he’s not gotten back with FOX4.
The city encourages anyone with concerns about any rental property to call code enforcement, or police if there’s an emergency. Those complaints can also be referred to the community-oriented policing group (COPS) to address concerns with the property owners.
Farassati is hoping to bring new short-term rental rules to the city council for consideration soon.