Despite several residents speaking in opposition, the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of operating a short-term rental on Hastings Road.
In a 7-1 vote, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of Judy and Danny Bryant's request for a special-exception permit to operate a short-term rental at 2059 Hastings Road.
The Bryants purchased the home last December and have a finished basement they want to rent out. Danny Bryant said this "provides us an avenue to get to know people from all over and provide a little extra income."
The Bryants said they would be at their home when they rent it out and will have a no-alcohol policy.
"We're proud of our home and plan on maintaining our home," Danny Bryant said. "We're respectable, professional people and plan on conducting our Airbnb in the same way."
Airbnb is a website that allows property owners to advertise short-term rentals.
The Bryants sent notices to neighbors about their hopes of operating a short-term rental and received some concerns, Danny Bryant said. Some of those neighbors were in attendance Thursday night, with many of them expressing concerns about increased crime, lower property values, parking issues and privacy worries.
Children's safety was the No. 1 concern among most residents, especially for resident Sladana Oros, who choked back sobs as she spoke to commissioners. Her son and his friends play outside regularly, she said, and was worried about "potential predators."
"I love our property, but I love my son more. I love the kids of the neighborhood," she said, wiping away tears. "This is very hard for me because I want the neighborhood to be one, not divided, but safety is my main concern and the children."
Commissioner Jack Deeken was the sole commissioner who voted against the bill. While he supports short-term rentals in older neighborhoods, Deeken said, he did not think this young neighborhood was ready for short-term rentals.
"Short-term rentals have been a godsend for the older neighborhoods to keep renters out and maybe people will start keeping them up and revitalize them," he said. "The neighborhoods (that are) young and vital, I don't like to see them encroaching in there."
The commission also unanimously approved a special-exception permit for 3261 S. Ten Mile Drive, owned by Michael and Marrianne Ryno. The Rynos plan to operate a short-term rental and would rent either one room or the whole house.
The City Council will host public hearings on both cases March 18.