Ever hear of AirBNB? Most of us have and many may have even used them or similar online accommodation operations. Everyone loves the AirBNB concept, that is, until one opens up next to you. Well, that is exactly what is going on in Lake Bluff Village Center with at least four identified properties. And, not unexpectedly, the natives grow restless.
The establishment of unregulated short-term rentals (the definition of AirBNB and their brethren) is a clear violation of established Lake Bluff ordinances. If it is improper to establish a hotel, motel or B&B, it must be similarly improper to be an AirBNB establishment. In fact, there is a draft, cease & desist order, in the hands of the Village Board, but, as far as we know, it has not been acted upon.
The apparent lack of resolve by the Village government to date to enforce the code is, or should be, troubling. In spite of the concern and even alarm of a few residents, the Village has shown a tendency for patience while considering or drafting new ordinances to regulate such activity. Caution is understandable, but why is it that a vast minority of residents (the AirBNB Operators) are treated as the innocent or victim while the vast majority in the Village (the non AirBNB operators) interests are disregarded as the AirBNB facilities go unregulated and even more could open while the debate continues.
Let’s reverse the process by issuing the cease & desist order, halting existing B&B operations and stopping new ones from developing, while the Village Trustees take the necessary time to develop sensible and satisfactory regulations for the future. The residents and homeowners deserve such consideration, not the operators who are in non-compliance of our zoning ordinances.
The next Board meeting presents the opportunity for the Trustees to do what is right.
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