Kuttawa City Council hears community input on ordinance

The Kuttawa City Council was met with a multitude of community concerns Monday night. Nearly a dozen public speakers attended the city council meeting to voice opinions on an ordinance aiming to establish regulations on short-term rentals in Kuttawa.

The Kuttawa City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, was attended by nearly a dozen residents whose interest was to hear an ordinance that establishes regulations on short-term rentals.

The provenance of short-term rental properties, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, did not stir any discussion a couple of years ago in Kuttawa. As stated previously by city council members, complications amplified during the summer of 2020, fostering the first-kind ordinance.

Complaints to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office underscore and legitimatize community concerns about unregulated short-term rentals and their effects on small communities.

Several attendees told council members renting at a commercial level scale, seemingly causes more disturbances. They noted control is maintained when circumstances allow for property owners to be on-site during the guest’s stay.

City Attorney Jay Matheny said remedies for corporate-model renting and outstanding incidents include Restrictive Covenants and Master Deeds.

Councilwoman Skyla Jenkins Grief said a sense of neighborhood and signs of a tight-knit community are seldom seen in a tourist, vacation-catering community.

She said the ordinance is an attempt to compromise and appease all parties involved.

Other stakeholders at the meeting said they benefit from the short-term rental industry. They expressed concerns about their businesses in light of the ordinance.

They informed the council they would be displeased and disappointed if their rental business was substantially reduced as a result of stringent regulations.

Other speakers added that the local economy is growing because outside consumers travel to Kuttawa and spend money. To that end, there is an uptick in restaurant sales, retail sales and tourist attractions.

The council decided to carry the discussion into the next meeting in October.

In other business, the council heard the second reading of and ornidance which establishes the real and personal property tax rates.

The council voted and passed the ordinance, establishing a substitute tax rate of 0.182 for real estate and a substitute tax rate of 0.3252 for personal property.

Councilman Mike Hutchcraft voted no.

He said with water and sewer rate increases, a higher substitute tax rate is not sound fiscal judgment. He said he is in favor of keeping the compensating rate of 0.174 on real estate.

The council also voted to hear the first reading of an ordinance changing city hall office hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mayor Barbara Campbell said the revised office hours enable city hall personnel to be more accessible to other Kuttawa city employees during early morning hours.