The city of Overland Park is cracking down on residential parties following a deadly shooting earlier this year that took place at home being used as a short-term vacation rental.
Driving the news: A new ordinance putting new regulations on parties at short-term rental properties won unanimous approval Monday night from the Overland Park City Council.
- The measure defines a “nuisance” party as a social gathering of five or more people on a residential property that leads to criminal violations disturbing surrounding properties.
- The ordinance would allow the city to penalize residents who create a “disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of residential property,” according to city documents.
The lead up: Discussion about such an ordinance in Overland Park began after a shooting in March at a home near 145th Street and Switzer Road being used a vacation rental left a Wichita woman dead.
- A Topeka man was later charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, which took place amid a gathering of people at the home that had reportedly been rented out for a birthday celebration.
- One month after the shooting, the city began discussing the possibility of regulating short-term rentals, which resulted in a city-led survey to get community feedback on the issue.
- The results of that survey, which were presented to the council in August, found a nuisance party ordinance to be a favorable idea among residents.
Details: With the new ordinance, Overland Park Police can now cite individuals present at a party for their conduct.
- The person or persons renting the property or the owner of the property can also now be subject to fines.
- If someone is cited, it would be classified as a misdemeanor that could result in up to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
- A total of 13 potential criminal violations are listed under the ordinance, including property damage, littering, discharging a firearm, trespassing on adjacent property and unlawful possession of alcohol.
Discussion: While the council unanimously agreed that the ordinance is a good first step in regulating short-term rentals, several expressed interest in seeing even stricter rules in the future.
- “It is true that this [ordinance] would affect annoying parties, but it is still possible to have the harmful effect of a frequent party rental without any of these [criminal violations] happening,” Councilmember Faris Farassati said.
- Other possibilities on how to handle short-term rentals discussed by the city in August included requiring rentals to be licensed, issuing stricter regulations for short-term rentals or potentially banning them entirely.
Next steps: The ordinance will take effect on Tuesday, Sept. 27, but city staff will continue to analyze the effects of short term rentals in Overland Park and will revisit the issue in the future.
- Overland Park Police are set to undertake an education and outreach program to notify some of the rental properties about the ordinance, according to city officials.
Reporting a short-term rental issue in Overland Park
Residents can use OPCares, the city’s online customer service tool, to report ongoing property maintenance issues and disturbances at residential properties that are being used as a short term rental.
- Concerns could include issues relating to the general upkeep of a property or issues relating to loud parties, large numbers of guests, on-street parking or scattered trash and debris.
- Include a valid address and when relevant, detailed location information and as many details as possible to help an officer investigate your concern to determine if a violation of City ordinance exists.