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Short-term rental program approved
New ordinance makes process easier
A new ordinance will make it easier to operate an Airbnb in Great Bend.

The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved a short-term rental ordinance aimed at making it easier for a property owner to operate an Airbnb-type business by creating and implementing a licensing and inspection program.

This covers properties rented to transient occupants for periods of less than 30 days so as to “minimize the adverse effects of short-term rental uses on surrounding residential properties and neighborhoods, and to preserve the character, integrity, and stability of residential neighborhoods in which short-term rental properties are located,”  Interim City Administrator Logan Burns said. This is not intended to regulate hotels, motels, lodging houses or hospitals. 

“The city staff wishes to implement a program that will create regulations to help protect citizens and visitors to the City of Great Bend and ensure safe practices,” Burns said. “We strive to do this in a manner that balances the rights of property owners to rent out their homes and the rights of neighbors to preserve and protect the character of their neighborhoods.”

So, based upon the findings and the current regulations, Building Inspection staff feel it was important to have regulations in place for short-term rentals within the city, he said. 

Staff proposed to change the zoning regulations allowing short-term rentals to be classified as a permitted use rather than a conditional use in designated zoning districts. This streamlines the process, Burns said.

Property owners are required to contact all certified property owners within 200-foot radius of their location and get approval from at least 55% of them. There will be a $100 initial application fee (which covers the inspection), with an annual fee thereafter of $75.

This program will be implemented and managed through Building Inspections in a similar manner as the current contractor licensing, Burns said. 

This allows for the licensing and city inspection to be maintained within one department. 

The operation of such a rental requires a proper permit and license.