Obetz halts short term rentals

By Katelyn Sattler
Staff Writer

Obetz City Council voted to prohibit short-term rental facilities, such as Vrbos or Airbnbs.
Mayor Angela Kirk said the city has had two of these types of short-term rental facilities.

“The one left doesn’t have a driveway and was continuing to park in the driveway of an elderly woman’s next door,” said Kirk. “In the previous one, there was a huge house party and ended up with a stolen car. The police had to go out and disperse the partiers. There were probably 15, 20 kids out there having a huge house party. That house has now sold.”

Added Kirk, “There’s precedent set through several other communities that do not allow them. They can come into anyone’s neighborhood here and buy a string of property. Let’s say the market takes a dip and someone comes in and buys a bunch of investment property. Now, they are all short-term rentals or all short-term leases and now you have 20 of them in your neighborhood and we’re spending more resources on that than is actually beneficial to us as a community.”

She said for Obetz it means that it takes more resources to deal with and there is no benefit to the city.

“They have to register, they have to be inspected, they have to be monitored by our police department, which then takes resources away from our police to patrol and handle those situations,” said Kirk.

Councilman Robert Kramer clarified that short-term means “30 days or less.” Apartments can still offer short-term leases of six months or less. In an industrial area, Community Services Director Stacey Boumis said, “It can be handled through a Planned District.”

“I think this kind of protects everyone’s neighborhood and the ones that are invested and purchase the properties,” said Kirk. “We talked about giving them a little time to get their affairs in order to disband the Airbnb, because we’re not accepting that any more.”

Deputy Administrator Michael Corbitt, said, “We’ve been seeing a lot of companies wanting more rentals and usually it’s long-term rentals. But they could quickly turn it into short-term rentals if this isn’t passed.”

Money matters
Obetz City Council approved an emergency ordinance to make changes to the 2022 appropriations.

Corbitt listed the changes needed. One is $1,200 to cover the remaining phone charges for the police department and $1,500 is for the reconditioning of youth football helmets and $10,000 to purchase new helmets for next year.

“It’s a supply chain issue,” said Corbitt. “If we don’t order them now, we won’t get them for next season. That’s why this is a bigger hit here. Then, $3,000 for employee winter wear and $5,300 for bank charges. A lot of that has to do with inflationary issues and their bank rates are pulling up.”

Councilman Derek Varney asked, “We shouldn’t see that helmet charge show up next year, right?”

Corbitt responded, “Yeah. We would not budget the $10,000 next year.”

Varney said, “I don’t want to see another hit. You know what I mean?”

Other news
• “We have our Halloween Fright Night at the Fortress on Oct. 28 from 6-10 p.m. in the Fortress parking lot,” said Kirk. “We will be passing out candy and have the Haunted Hayride like we did before back in the woods.”

•Trick-or-treat is Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. The city is following the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s recommendation that all communities have trick-or-treat on the same night.

“We’ll also have officers again in the neighborhoods,” said Kirk. “The fire department usually comes out while the neighborhoods hand out candy. There won’t be any Trunk-or-Treat this year. We’ll just have the tunnel, like we have in the past.”

•Three lights were repaired on Acadia and two in Butler Farms. Sodium bulbs are being transitioned to LED bulbs to be more cost effective and look much better.

•Groveport will hold its Veteran’s Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Groveport Veterans Park at 421 Main St.

•Police Chief Mike Confer provided his department’s recent statistics since the last meeting. The police had 774 calls for service, patrolled 2,929 miles, issued 23 moving violations, one speeding violation, 22 offense reports, two domestic violence incidents. He also said there were 17 semi-trucks in the neighborhoods.

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