Home rentals

Shawnee updates city code to prevent one-room house rentals

SHAWNEE, Kan. — On Monday, the Shawnee City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to change the city’s code relating to room rentals in residential zoning districts.

In March, the Planning Commission began discussions on a new trend in single-family homes purchased and converted to rental units with several unrelated tenants.

City staff said that in these housing arrangements, tenants have secure access to their room and tenancy agreements of varying lengths, making it difficult for the city to determine how many people are living in the home at the time. a given time.

To address the issue, the planning commission recommended 8-0 that council adopt new language in city code to focus on single room rentals.

One of the changes rewrites the city’s zoning to define “family” for single-family homes. The code now defines a family as a group of one or more related people living together, or a group of fewer than three unrelated adults living together in a single family home.

Any group of four or more unrelated adults living together in a home would be considered a cohabitation group.

Community Development Manager Doug Allmon said the new code would ban cohabitation homes and rooming houses in all zoning districts in the city except for Planned Unit Development (PUDMR), but this may be prohibited by zoning.

“As it is set up, it is [in] every neighborhood, including our residential high-rise apartment neighborhood,” Allmon said.

The amended municipal code also expands the definition of a single housekeeping unit as a group of people who live in a house with a common kitchen and share household responsibilities. This means that a group of three unrelated adults living together should live together as a household.