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City of Shawnee will start enforcing new regulations on short-term vacation rentals this month

Short term vacation rentals in Shawnee
Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 08, 2024

SHAWNEE, Kan. — A new ordinance regulating short term vacation rentals in Shawnee takes effect later this month and residents hope there's a drop in noise and crowd size complaints.

The ordinance regulating the rentals takes effect on March 26.

If an owner is found violating city code, it could mean jail time or a minimum fine of $500.

It's a win for homeowners like Larry Diehl, who've complained about noise, parking and capacity at an Airbnb just a couple doors down from him.

"We've been here for 45 years," Diehl said. "We didn't intend to stay here for 45 years, but we've had good neighbors."

He can't say the same for occupants in the nearby rental, whom he felt were a nuisance.

"Some people argue this [Airbnb] is the best thing for Shawnee," Diehl said. People come here to scope out the neighborhood. That's BS."

Problems with short-term rentals sparked an ongoing discussion among city leaders, but it ramped up last year.

A change in council members in the last election delayed a decision.

"The biggest thing will be now the ordinances that are in place will apply both to renters and property owners. "That means both sides can be fined by the city," said Doug Donahoo, director of communications for the city.

While having parties are not specifically mentioned in the ordinance, it does make clear short-term rentals and occupants must obey noise restrictions.

"If we can stop the parties, that's the strongest one if they can enforce that," Diehl said.

The updated city code also limits capacity to 10 people in the rentals.

As an Airbnb owner, Shannon Doser has no problem with the changes.

"At the end of the day, I think everyone's happy because they didn't ban them," Doser said. "I think it's an equitable situation."

KSHB 41 spoke with the couple last November. They were already following all city codes, including having a business license for their Airbnb before the price for a license went up to $500.

"It didn't change anything," Doser said. "They want people to uphold the current codes that apply to everybody."

Donahoo said the city is still in the process of developing a plan for enforcement.

To report a code violation, you can call police or the community development department at (913)742-6238. You can also submit a complaint through this website.