WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — For the past year, Travis Dorion has been hosting guests at one of his properties through Airbnb and VRBO. He plans on listing two more short-term rentals in the near future.

“The Wichita area is just starting to get traction in the Airbnb space,” Dorion said.

In the past four years, the number of Airbnb’s in Wichita has more than doubled. However, city officials claim that every single one of the more than 400 short-term rentals are out of code.

Dorion says while he (and dozens of others in Wichita’s tight-knit short-term rental community) is all for additional health regulations and proper permits, he’s currently questioning other proposed recommendations brought forth by the City on Tuesday.

“We’re not opposed to it,” Dorion said. “I think that we just need to get on board and on the same page [on] what that looks like — how that affects us as hosts.”

The recommendations stem from a shooting in April 2021 at a Wichita Airbnb that left one person dead.

District 4 City Councilman Jeff Blubaugh says his biggest concern revolves around a recommendation to limit the number of short-term rentals in a 600-foot radius moving forward.

“There can only be one in that 600 feet — 600 feet may not look like a lot … I counted out nine blocks,” Blubaugh said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to knock the other people out there.”

However, Wichita Mayor Dr. Brandon Whipple says these recommendations have a long way to go before being set in stone, adding the City could take a more targeted approach when it comes to so-called problem areas.

“We have heard from some neighborhood associations that really have had bad experiences with Airbnb’s within those communities while also acknowledging that we’ve had parts of our community where Airbnb’s have been very successful, so, we’re trying to walk that line,” Mayor Whipple said.

Blubaugh says he is asking for data in terms of how many calls to the police were made against short-term rentals the City has received.

City officials emphasize if the 600-foot radius limit is put into effect, all preexisting short-term rentals will be grandfathered into that policy.