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The city of Springfield is considering rule changes that would affect Airbnb rentals like this cottage in Galloway Village.
Photo courtesy Airbnb
The city of Springfield is considering rule changes that would affect Airbnb rentals like this cottage in Galloway Village.

City outlines Airbnb proposal

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The Springfield Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to meet today to discuss new rules affecting short-term rentals in the city.

The largest step would require hosts through Airbnb, VRBO or other online marketplaces to obtain a license from the city and pay fees typically ranging from $25 per year to $105 per year based on annual gross receipts. Following the P&Z review, Springfield City Council is expected to hold a hearing on Jan. 29. An ordinance could be approved as soon as Feb. 12, according to a news release.

“The city of Springfield is wanting to be on the forefront of these discussions with our community,” said Daniel Neal, senior planner for Springfield, in the release. “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, as of last fall, there were roughly 70 single-family homes, apartments, spare bedrooms and, in some cases, living room couches listed on short-term rental websites. Airbnb.com shows renters have reviewed more than 4,800 rentals with an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars.

The city’s proposed rule changes differ depending on the type of rental — residential single-family and residential townhouse — its zoning district and whether the unit is owner-occupied, according to the release.

For example, owner-occupied residences cannot be rented for more than 95 days in a calendar year and may not be located within 500 feet from another short-term rental site. In situations where the rental is not owner-occupied, the owners must obtain a conditional-use permit and adhere to other restrictions.

For short-term renters who collect more than $200,000 in annual gross receipts, an additional 25 cents per $1,000 would be collected by the city. All hosts would have to comply with the new rules within six months of council approval, according to the release.

Airbnb and Missouri earlier this month reached an agreement whereby the short-term rental website would collect and remit sales taxes to the state. In 2017, Airbnb’s 6,300 Missouri hosts collected nearly $30 million in gross receipts. Springfield ranked fifth statewide with $749,000 collected from 8,140 bookings, according to Springfield Business Journal reporting.

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