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Shawnee neighbors, Airbnb owners make their case to council on future of short-term rentals

Future of Airbnb and VRBO in Shawnee
Posted at 10:36 PM, Nov 27, 2023

SHAWNEE, Kan — Kansas City, Missouri, and Overland Park recently passed new ordinances and rules for short-term rentals. Now, Shawnee could follow suit.

Since last year, the city of Shawnee has made $93,235 off a transient guest tax on Airbnb and VRBO properties.

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Alyssa Jackson

According to the city, short-term rentals have been a topic of discussion for several years.

Some neighbors are pushing for more owners to take accountability or an outright ban on the rentals.

After the Doser family reaches their first year as Airbnb owners, they want the city to consider people like them who bring in a sizable profit from consistent five-star ratings.

"We’re both in real estate," said Shannon Doser, an Airbnb owner. "This is an income source for us."

They said they’ve never received a complaint; instead, they’ve actually gotten the opposite from their neighbors. A neighbor wrote a letter to council on their behalf.

The Dosers spoke at a Monday night Shawnee City Council committee meeting to make their case on why a ban on Airbnbs is the wrong direction to go.

"You could have a bad experience at a Hilton," Shannon Doser said. "They don't shut the Hilton down because someone had a party."

Her husband, David Doser, weighed in on the issue, too.
"Your first step is calling the police on that if it's really bad," said David Doser, an Airbnb owner.

An open record request KSHB 41 made to the Shawnee Police Department disclosed since 2019, they’ve only had eight calls.

The noteworthy complaints range from noise, suspicious activity and an alcohol offense. Neighbors who showed up Monday night paint that picture on their side of town.

 One resident said, “We got a basket full of apples and rotten ones inside. It's not fair to exploit the quality of our neighborhoods. It’s not fair to us and it's [short term rentals] a cancer that will eat away our neighborhoods."

 Another resident said, "The traffic, the people coming in, the cars day and night. — for the neighbors who have to deal with this, how do you get these shut down?"

The city does require short-term rental owners maintain a business license. KSHB 41 has submitted an open record request for how many owners abide by that rule.

“We can put regulations in place, but I strongly believe we should put a plan in to enforce it and monitor them," another resident said.

More than 50% of the time, the Doser’s home is booked. They said they check all the city’s boxes by paying the taxes and keeping their business license up-to-date.

"When I hear the word ban, it’s like where does that come from? What did we do to deserve to be banned?" David Doser said.

Monday night's meeting was just for feedback. Any action will have to be taken by the new council. The new council members and mayor are sworn in on Dec. 11.