Two families are applying to have the first Air BnB’s in the city of Webster Groves.
There are two applications for conditional use permits under the city’s bed and breakfast ordinance.
Edith James and her husband Joe Goodenough are hoping to rent out their spare bedroom in their two-story home on Belton Avenue.
“We think it’s the right thing to do to give visitors to our lovely city a welcoming place to stay and a good experience,” said James who’s lived in their home since 1980.
The City of Webster Groves allows Air BnB’s if they do not rent out the whole property. They have to hold a public hearing and receive approval by city council. At the first hearing, they received enough votes to pass on a preliminary vote, but there were concerns from neighbors.
Neighbors on James’ street were worried about extra cars on their small street and bringing strangers to the neighborhood.
“I was a little surprised by the pushback from some of the immediate neighbors,” said James. “Its our home we certainly don’t want anyone here that’s unkind or unsavory.”
Mara Perry, the planning commissioner for the city of Webster Groves, said this is a learning experience. They plan to see how these two requests go and could tweak or create an ordinance more specifically catered to Air BnBs and similar short-term rentals.
The City of Maplewood passed an ordinance allowing them. Brentwood and Clayton do not allow any type of short-term rental or boarding house.
The Webster Groves City Council meets on Tuesday.
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