People operating short-term rental properties, such as Airbnb and Vrbo rentals, in the unincorporated areas of Riley County will now have to apply for a license, with yearly renewals, through the Planning and Development Department. To be granted a license, short-term rental properties must comply with a list of requirements, found in Section 5.2.AC of the Riley County Land Development Regulations, such as providing smoke detectors in each bedroom, weekly trash collection, and appropriately sized egress windows for the property.
“The short-term rental license program is intended to help protect the health, life, and safety of occupants,” said Riley County Planning and Development/Environmental Health Director Amanda Webb. “It will take some time for people to get used to the process, but cities and counties everywhere are developing similar regulations to help protect people and ensure safe practices.”
There are roughly a couple dozen short-term rental properties currently in operation outside of city limits in Riley County. The Planning and Development Department will be in direct contact with owners to help explain the new processes and licensing requirements. Property owners will have one year to meet the standards outlined in the updated regulations adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 5, 2022.
The licenses will also require yearly property inspections. Short-term rentals can only be located within habitable structures and shall not be located in non-residential accessory structures such as sheds or garages.
“We will help educate owners and work with them to bring their properties into compliance,” said Webb. “We want anyone who stays in rural Riley County to feel comfortable knowing there are safety measures in place for these facilities.”
The mission of the Planning and Development Department is to coordinate the design, adoption and implementation of comprehensive planning which shall strive to ensure that all resources of the county are preserved, developed, and managed consistently with adopted policies that promote the highest quality of life for present and future citizens.