Overland Park discusses short-term rentals following community survey

Overland Park rental ordinance

Following a deadly shooting in April at a home being used as a short-term rental, above, the Overland Park City Council's Committee of the Whole on Monday discussed whether such rentals should be licensed, regulated or banned entirely. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

A city-led analysis in Overland Park concludes that problems associated with short-term home rentals are less common than some may believe.

  • Nonetheless, the Overland Park City Council will continue exploring options for regulating or possibly completely banning these types of rentals within city limits in the future.

Driving the news: The Overland Park City Council in its Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night discussed how short-term rentals, such as AirBnb vacation homes, could be regulated.

Background: Short-term rentals came under scrutiny in Overland Park after a deadly shooting in March at a home in the 9700 block of West 145th Terrace that was being used as a short-term vacation rental.

  • A Wichita woman, Sharell Hollman, died after someone opened fire at a gathering at the home.
  • Anthony Duane Smith, 46, of Topekas has been charged with one count of second-degree murder in Holloman’s death.
  • One month after the shooting, the city began discussing possibly regulating short-term rentals.

The findings: In a report Monday, city staff said they were able to identify 102 short-term rental properties in Overland Park, though the report said there are likely more.

  • Of the 102 properties identified, the report said 63 were in single-family homes.
  • Over a two-and-a-half year period, short-term rentals generated a higher percentage of police calls compared to owner-occupied single-family homes, but overall, short-term rental properties accounted for less than one half of one percent of all calls received by the police citywide.
  • Short-term rentals received more noise complaints proportionally than owner-occupied homes, but in terms of raw numbers, they generated a total of just nine calls during the two-and-half year period under analysis.

Suggested changes: During the meeting, councilmembers considered four approaches on how to handle short-term rentals, including:

  1. Introducing a nuisance party ordinance for all properties, which would define the size and types of behavior at an event that would be considered problematic
  2. Requiring rentals to be licensed
  3. Issuing stricter regulations for short-term rentals
  4. Banning them entirely

Coucil’s response: While a few councilmembers said they preferred an outright ban on short-term rentals, most expressed interest in simply forming regulations for the properties.

  • Councilmember Sam Passer said he’d like to see a balance between the rights of property owners to rent their properties and neighborhood safety.
  • “I wouldn’t object to maybe a three-day [rental] minimum,” Passer said. “If we come in too short, we’re going to get sued by a property owner that thinks we’re restricting their ability to make a living.”
  • Instead of a citywide ban, Councilmember Jim Kite recommended city staff potentially work with homeowners associations to create individual bans on short-term rentals within their neighborhoods.

What’s next? The meeting concluded with the council recommending city staff look further into the four options of short-term rental regulations presented at Monday’s council of the whole meeting.

  • Within the next three to four months, the city plans to work to put together a more exact number of short term rentals that exist in the city.
  • The council also recommended staff look further into how nearby cities are regulating short-term rentals.
  • Overland Park Planning Manager Leslie Karr said staff should be able to present more proposed concrete regulations to the council within the next six months to a year.