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Kansas City officials seeking public feedback on city’s proposed ‘Airbnb ordinance’

Kansas City officials have set a public hearing for 5 p.m. July 19 to hear public opinion about a proposed ordinance to regulate Airbnb and other short-term residential contracts.

Such rentals, although increasingly common, are actually illegal under current city ordinances. The city is studying ways to legalize short-term rentals, regulate them, and respond to neighborhood concerns.

City planners say they are “studying the best ways to balance the rights of property owners to rent their homes and the rights of neighbors to preserve the character of their neighborhoods.”

Around the country, so-called Airbnb ordinances, which also would apply to other short-term rentals, have been roundly debated and rarely reached consensus that made proponents and opponents happy.

The Kansas City hearing, planned for the community room in the Kansas City Police Department headquarters building at 1125 Locust St., is scheduled to end by 6:30 p.m. Street parking may be available on the blocks north and east of the building, and two nearby parking garages will be open at 1120 Oak St. and 1001 Locust St.

After the public hearing, the next step in the review process is for the draft ordinance to go to the City Plan Commission, where public testimony will be accepted. The issue currently is scheduled for the Aug. 15 commission meeting at City Hall.

After heard by the commission, the proposal is expected to be assigned to a subsequent meeting of the City Council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee, where public comment also would be accepted.

The final step to authorize or reject the ordinance would occur after the council committee refers it to the full council for an up or down vote, at which session no public input would be heard.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford

Kansas City officials seeking public feedback on city’s proposed ‘Airbnb ordinance’