News Flash

2018 City News Releases

Posted on: January 10, 2018

Changes to short-term stay rentals section of City’s Zoning Ordinance to go before P&Z, City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hosts who rent out their property in the city limits of Springfield via Airbnb, VRBO or other online marketplaces will need to have a business license and comply with other short-term stay rental regulations aimed at protecting the safety, character and quality of life in Springfield neighborhoods, if proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance are approved by City Council.

The amendments will go before the Planning & Zoning Commission on Jan. 11, then to City Council for public hearing on Jan. 29. An ordinance could be approved as early as Feb. 12, with all short-term stay rental properties required to come into compliance with the new regulations within six months.

The Zoning Ordinance defines a short-term stay as the rental of an entire dwelling, or any portion thereof, for a period of not more than 30 days, where the owner is engaged in a contract for the rental of that specific dwelling, or any portion thereof. Short-term stays are further categorized as Type 1, 2 or 3, depending on the zoning district of the property and whether it is owner-occupied.
“These are rapidly expanding uses that many communities throughout the country have begun to discuss. The City of Springfield is wanting to be on the forefront of these discussions with our community,” said Senior Planner Daniel Neal. “As of fall 2017, there were about 70 single-family homes, apartment units, spare bedrooms and even living room couches in Springfield being rented out for short-term stays. We’ve heard from neighborhood organizations and have met with representatives of other stakeholder groups to incorporate their suggestions into these changes, which we feel balance the rights of property owners to rent out their properties with the rights of their neighbors to protect the safety and character of their neighborhoods.”

Neal said in addition to analyzing the City’s current ordinance, Planning staff took other cities’ rules regarding short-term rentals into account and developed three short-term stay rental categories. Each of these categories allow for a rental of a residential dwelling for less than 30 days, which are currently not permitted in residential districts. 


Type 1

• Allowed in the Residential-Single Family (R-SF) or Residential-Townhouse (R-TH) districts.

• For owner-occupied primary residences.

• Cannot be rented for more than 95 days in a calendar year.

• Must obtain an annual business license and a certificate of occupancy, in addition to other criteria as listed in the proposed amendments.

• May not be located within 500 feet along or across the street from another short-term stay property or bed and breakfast as measured between the shortest distance between the lot lines of each parcel.


Type 2 

• Allowed in the R-SF or R-TH districts.

• For non-owner-occupied residences or owner-occupied primary residences for more than 95 days in a calendar year.

• No limitation on the number of days that it can be rented; however, all Type 2’s will require a conditional use permit. The conditional use permit requires compliance with 21 standards, a neighborhood meeting, public hearings before Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council and approval by City Council.

• Must obtain an annual business license and a certificate of occupancy, in addition to other criteria as listed in the proposed amendments.

• May not be located within 500 feet along or across the street from another short-term stay property or bed and breakfast as measured between the shortest distance between the lot lines of each parcel.


Type 3

• Allowed in all other zoning districts.

• No residency requirement or limitations on the number of days that it can be rented.

• No more than two dwelling units within a premise can be rented.

• Must obtain an annual business license and a certificate of occupancy, in addition to other criteria as listed in the proposed amendments. 

• No separation requirements as in Type 1 and 2.

 

General provisions

• All short-term stay rental properties shall comply with the residential occupancy requirements in the Zoning Ordinance, which requires that a dwelling unit may not be occupied by more than three unrelated persons in a R-SF or R-TH zoning district or four unrelated persons in a Residential-Light Density (R-LD), Residential-Medium Density (R-MD) or Residential-Heavy Density (R-HD, multi-family) district. The proposed amendments do not allow any exceptions to these residential occupancy requirements.

• Short-term stay rental properties must obtain and continually maintain a service agent business license. Licensing fees are based on gross receipts and typically range from $25 per year ($0-$10,000 in annual gross receipts) to $105 per year ($200,000 in annual gross receipts). Businesses that collect more than $200,000 in annual gross receipts are charged an additional 25 cents per $1,000. New applicants will be asked to estimate their gross receipts for the upcoming year. The figures can be adjusted accordingly when the business renews the following year, according to Licensing Supervisor Lori Stubbeman. If an annual business license is not continually obtained, the owner/business risks losing the ability to operate due to the separation requirements in Type 1 and 2 and maximum dwellings in Type 3.

• City staff will process business license applications on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• All short-term stay rental properties must come into compliance with the new regulations within six months of passage by City Council.


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For more information, please contact Senior Planner Daniel Neal at 417-864-1036 or Assistant Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Melissa Haase at mhaase@springfieldmo.gov or 417-864-1003.

 

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