Attention on short-term rental rules after deadly Overland Park shooting — Here are JoCo cities’ current regulations

Overland Park shooting

A shooting left one woman dead at an Overland Park residence, above, on Sunday that was being used as a short term vacation rental. Regulations for such short-term rentals vary from city to city in Johnson County and are in the process of being updated in some municipalities as they become more common. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

A deadly shooting at a home in south Overland Park has brought renewed attention to local rules regarding short-term rentals in Johnson County.

Overland Park Police say a Wichita woman, Sharell Holloman, was shot at a home in the 9700 block of W. 145th Terrace early Sunday morning as the house was being rented out on a short-term vacation rental.

Holloman later died at a local hospital. Anthony Duane Smith, 45, of Topeka has been charged with one count of second degree murder in Holloman’s death.

The exact circumstances around the shooting are not yet known, but Fox 4 reported that some neighbors in the surrounding subdivision of Brookhighland have voiced concerns about short-term rentals in the past, including the home where the shooting occurred.

The Brookhighland Homeowners Association president, who lives near the home, told the TV station that the HOA is “taking a very serious look at what can be done” and potentially changing its bylaws.

Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog issued a statement on Monday that said issues with residents using their homes for short-term rentals are growing in the city.

Skoog said he planned to schedule a discussion on the topic with the city council April 4 at a meeting of the council’s committee of the whole.

“Short term rental operators need to be considerate of their neighbors and the community, and we need to ensure our residential neighborhoods continue to be safe and welcoming,” Skoog said in a statement.

The Post has reached out to the person who identifies themselves online as the host of the rental on 145th Terrace, but we have not heard back.

Here’s what short-term room rental regulations look like currently in nine Johnson County cities.

Fairway

City Administrator Nathan Nogelmeier said Fairway updated its short-term rental regulations in 2019. Per the city code, short-term rentals in Fairway must obtain a license — which can be revoked if the city finds the rental is not in compliance with standards outlined in the city code here.

Leawood

Short-term rentals are currently not allowed in Leawood, City Administrator Scott Chambers told the Post via email.

Lenexa

Denise Rendina, Lenexa’s spokesperson, said “all rentals (entire house or one room) must be licensed with the city of Lenexa. We do not regulate short-term rentals differently than long-term rentals.”

Mission

The city of Mission does not have any specific regulations for short-term rentals at this time, City Administrator Laura Smith told the Post.

Still, the city has been discussing this topic for about a year, she said.

She added that she thinks the city council may want to revisit this topic in the coming months.

Merriam

Jenna Gant, Merriam’s communications and public engagement manager, told the Post VRBO’s and Airbnb’s where there is no permanent resident are considered rental units. This means they are subject to the “city’s landlord licensing and rental inspection requirements,” she said.

Overland Park

Meg Ralph, the city’s communications and media relations manager, told the Post via email that the city does not have any regulations specifically for short-term rentals and that the discussion proposed by Skoog would likely be a “starting point.”

Ralph said short-term rentals, which are often in a residential zone, “are subject to the same regulations as any property in the zoning category they are in.”

Prairie Village

Jamie Robichaud, deputy city administrator, told the Post via email that Prairie Village requires all short-term rentals to have a rental license.

The city can revoke that “license if the property is a nuisance or has repeated code violations,” she said.

Robichaud said she is not aware of plans to update the regulations, and that kind of policy decision is left up to the city council.

Roeland Park

Erin Winn, assistant city administrator, told the Post via email that Roeland Park updated its short-term rental regulations a few years ago.

Like Prairie Village, Roeland Park requires a license to operate a short-term rental.

The leasing resident must notify all property owners within 100 feet as part of the license application process, Winn said. Neighbors are able to file an objection to the issuance of a license, she said.

Additionally, Winn said, “short-term rental properties are subject to the same health and safety requirements as all city properties.”

Shawnee

The city of Shawnee is in the process of updating the city code to regulate individual room rentals within single-family homes.

The issue just so happened to come before the planning commission on Monday night. The commission recommended approval of a few changes to city code.

While the city considered regulating leases in single-family homes when the tenants are unrelated, city staff acknowledged that short-term rentals are in a legal gray area that could be challenging for the city to enforce.

Instead of imposing lease requirements in order to discourage transience, the city would instead cap the number of unrelated persons at three per single-family home. (Related, in this case, would mean related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or legal custody.)

A recording of last night’s meeting is on the city’s website. Discussion begins at 2:57:06.