Lake Ozark cracking down on short-term rental homes in restricted areas

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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LAKE OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - A getaway to the Lake of the Ozarks has been extremely popular this year.

”[But,] we are receiving more complaints,” said Dave Van Dee, City Administrator.

Those complaints are mostly about parking, loud parties, and vacationers unknowingly using other people’s property that doesn’t belong to the home they’re renting for their stay.

”If you’re on the lake front, and you see a dock, you consider that to be like a hotel pool. Right? You don’t consider that the dock belongs to the person next door, rather than the person who you’re renting from,” said Harrison Fry, Assistant City Administrator.

The city believes that’s because more people who have second homes at the lake are living there full time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Neighbors who may not have been home when renters came for vacation last year are there this year.

”The biggest concern is if you’re one of the people who’s bought a home there, whether you’re trying to start your life here in the city or you’re retiring here, you want to have a neighborhood where everyone sort of has a pride of ownership, and that you have consistency in that area,” Fry said.

Lake Ozark isn’t actively policing sites like Airbnb and VRBO for vacation rentals in restricted zones. They’ll issue a cease-and-desist to the property owner if they get complaints.

If they keep getting complaints, it could cost a homeowner.

”Then, we will be forced to take those individuals or those businesses to court, which we’ve done before and have a history of winning those cases, because it’s strictly not allowed in our code," Fry said.

Homeowners can prevent that from happening. It’s as simple as calling the city before making the home available for short-term renting.

”We don’t enjoy telling you that you can’t do something,” Van Dee added. “We would prefer to tell you you can’t do it before you do it.”

Click here for the city’s zoning map.

Click here for the city’s flier on vacation rentals.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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