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Jefferson City Council denies Timber Trail short-term rental

Jefferson City Council denies Timber Trail short-term rental

February 19th, 2019 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

After several residents spoke in opposition, the Jefferson City Council unanimously denied a permit for a short-term rental on Timber Trail.

Julie Glaser applied for a special exception permit to operate a short-term rental at 1500 Timber Trail. Glaser previously said she would rent the home out about two or three times a month.

Under the city's ordinance for a short-term rental, a renter could only stay in the residence for less than one month. A property owner also could rent out a lodging room where someone rents a single room or basement for less than a month. Short-term lodging room rentals cannot have multiple rentals in the same residence.

Residents in the area said they were concerned about neighborhood safety, loud parties, parking issues and decrease in property values.

"Being proactive and protecting (the children's) safety is of the utmost importance," resident Brenda Proebsting said. "Strangers paying to come in and out of a nearby residence pose a safety and security risk."

Property owners cannot use short-term rentals for receptions, parties or weddings, according to the city code.

Several council members said they agreed with residents' concerns. Some also noted Glaser was not present at the council meeting to answer questions.

"I'm for Airbnbs, I think they're beneficial (but) I'm convinced this is not the best fit for this area," Ward 1 Councilman David Kemna said.

The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the permit last month.

While the short-term rental met the city code's criteria, Mayor Carrie Tergin said, it is up to the council to decide if a short-term rental is appropriate for the neighborhood.

"When it comes out of Planning and Zoning, their job is to evaluate whether it meets the criteria, but when it comes here, it is our job to really look at whether it is the best fit for our community and the neighborhood," Tergin said. "Certainly we could say it meets the criteria but does it fit the criteria to fit in this neighborhood? If I were to vote, I would vote 'no,' that it does not fit the neighborhood based on these comments and based on the fact the applicant is not here."

In a separate case, the council approved Tony and Jenny Smith's special exception permit to operate a short-term rental at 612 E. McCarty St. Ward 2 Councilman Rick Mihalevich abstained from voting on the permit.

A maximum of five unrelated people or an unlimited number of related individuals can stay in a Jefferson City short-term rental at a time, under city code.

If a property owner violates the city code, the city can revoke the permit.

In other business, the City Council heard a bill Monday that would approve a $1.6 million supplemental appropriation within the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's fund balance.

The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission approved this appropriation earlier this month.

The amount covers purchase of equipment and supplies for Community Park improvements. This includes tables, benches, turf, sculptures, shelters, lighting, signage, landscaping, trees, playground and sprayground equipment, and a restroom, Assistant Parks Director JJ Gates previously said.

Kansas City firm Warner Nease Bost Architects designed and bidded out Community Park improvements last fall. The bid called for construction of an 18,650-square-foot playground, a sprayground, two park shelters, a restroom and storage facility, along with other items, according to a public notice from the city.

The commission listed Community Park as its first priority from the parks master plan, which outlines improvements to the parks system over the next 20 years.

Also on Monday, the council approved two bills authorizing the city to vacate the 500 block of Union Street and transfer ownership of it to the Jefferson City Public Schools. Another bill also provides easements along the 500 block of Union Street.

Under an agreement between the city and JCPS, the city will use funds from itself and Cole County to reimburse JCPS up to $1.5 million to construct a street adjacent to the new Capital City High School that would connect Creek Trail and Mission drives.

If the project costs less than $1.5 million, the district will use the remaining funds to improve Lewis and Clark Drive or Union Street, or construct enhanced crosswalks on Linden Drive at South Elementary School or Jackson Street at Thorpe Gordon Elementary School.

The city will also vacate Lewis and Clark Drive at Lewis and Clark Middle School, under the agreement. The city plans to transfer ownership of the street to JCPS.

The council also approved Missouri American Water Company's request to rezone 8.49 acres at 311 and 320 Hoover Road from a Planned Unit Development to M-1 Light Industrial. The company plans to relocate its current facility at 906 W. High St. to the Hoover Road location.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Erin Wiseman was not present at Monday's meeting.