Sometimes we’re ahead of the game – sometimes we’re behind…
Whelp we’ve missed the last three weeks. We’d apologize – but for those of you who know us – you know we’ve been busy… Thanks for your patience.
Cohort 11 is humming right along and the CFN team is doing an excellent job facilitating the process. That said – we’ve also been tracking a lot of the changes that we are seeing at City Hall – here’s a few items worth note.
If you missed a meeting and want to watch the video on-demand is here: https://kansascity.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2
Watch it and let us know what we missed!
KCMO Citizen Connect – this is good news.
This one is too good to keep to ourselves. City Planning & Development are putting you in the driver’s seat on notifications. You can sign up for customized alerts for your neighborhood – or other parts of the city. https://www.kcmo.gov/city-hall/departments/city-planning-development/kcmo-citizen-connect
We’re glad to see incremental improvements in notifying citizens and neighborhood leaders about upcoming decisions around development and making city planning and development review more transparent. Citizen Connect will allow you to track specific items – such as rezonings or short term rentals.
Short Term Rentals – still a work in progress.
We’ve heard from many of you about the challenges of managing STRs in your neighborhoods. Not all of them make for good neighbors, apparently. Approvals of new SRTs should be reviewed by neighborhood organizations – but we know they slip through the cracks – or are often operating outside of city codes.
Want to track Short Term Rentals (STRs) in your neighborhood? Here’s few tips:
Currently policy requires notification of the adjacent property owners and the neighborhood or HOA of record. You can learn more about how it works here:
The City Auditor is currently conducting a study of the phenomenon in Kansas City – to try to track how many STR properties are actually operating – legally or otherwise. If you know about un-licensed or problem SRTs – you might want to let the auditor know – so they can add the addresses to their list for cross-checking and verification purposes only.
According to the Auditor:
Short Term Rental Program – Audit assessing whether short term rental hosts register with the city as required. Audit will also look at the impact short term rentals may have on city convention and tourism taxes and the arena fee. Audit based on public audit suggestions. (Scope Statement) Project Status: Completing fieldwork and developing report. Anticipated Release Date: November 2022
You can contact or tweet the auditor to your heart’s content: @KCMOCityAuditor
Chapter 88 Changes …
By now you’re probably tired of hearing about it – but every time we turn around the Mayor, City Council or staff are tweaking the City’s codes for planning, zoning, and development – AKA Chapter 88.
This code is so important we recommend that you read it here:
But also recognize that it is constantly under revision by a very busy and dedicated staff.
Chapter 88 – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – PASSED
Amendment to Chapter 88 (ordinance 220698) – allows you and your neighbor to become a developer and build a housing unit in their backyard. Sponsored by the Mayor and Council (Bough, Bunch, Parks-Shaw and Robinson) – this is not an affordable housing ordinance. It is a deregulation of development restrictions that allows
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will now be allowed “by right” subject to certain use standards. Planning staff recommended approval.
An ADU is a secondary dwelling unit on the property of an existing housing unit. One of the two units must be occupied by the owner of the property. The two units can be attached or detached. ADUs would not be allowed to become Short-Term Rentals (legally at least) – so the goal here is to allow a second unit that is a rental unit or unit for a family member, etc.
If you are interested in learning more about ADUs – we encourage you to contact the Mayor and City Council. Additional information is available via the city clerk’s website for Ordinance 220698.
While we’re not against ADUs in principle – we are concerned with how quickly the Mayor and Council pushed this ordinance through with little or no community engagement with neighborhoods that are going to have to deal with the aftermath. The survey data shown demonstrate that white, non-Hispanic responses to the survey were over-represented and the people who responded to the city’s survey were the ones most likely to want to build an ADU.
Owner-occupancy of ADUs: stay tuned.
Section 3. The City Manager is hereby directed to report back to the Neighborhood, Planning and Development Committee one-year after the passage of this ordinance to revisit the owner-occupancy requirement.
In the fine lines of the text amendments published on the City Clerk’s website – we find the above statement. Someone pushing this ordinance clearly wants to be able to buy up single family homes and have two rental units – by adding an ADU.
As such – by next October 2023 – someone at City Hall will bring this policy back to City Council (via Neighborhood Planning and Development) to reconsider the “owner-occupancy” issue.
What that could mean is that the forces in favor of turning the entire city into a haven for short term rentals will be back at it – to eliminate the requirement that the owner live on-site. This is problematic and neighborhoods should keep an eye on this issue. Contact your City Council person – or invite them to your next neighborhood meeting.
If passed – this amendment would allow an out of state owner to buy a house and build an ADU in the backyard or garage – and rent both out as short-term rentals – a pattern that would undermine housing affordability and promote the further commodification of the city’s residential spaces.
Next Week at City Hall – stay tuned!