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  1. Spot on! Airbnb is an important way to fuel the local economy without any extra work for the government. The hubris it takes to needlessly limit one’s neighbors’ freedoms is unbelievable. What would our founders think?

    Short term rental income can make it possible for Lake Bluffers to stay in their homes in the case of job loss or added expenses. “I have plenty of money, so I need not worry about restricting access to income-generating options” is the basic mentality of those wanting to regulate Airbnb hosts out of business. Maybe we should decide that people who work from home need a permit for that, as does anyone wanting to have overnight guests at all. Maybe we should tax people who have unsightly cars parked in their driveways. Truly, it degrades the neighborhood! Maybe people who have more kids, and thus may produce more noise, ought to be driven out of town. Anything to protect the so-called character of Lake Bluff!

    As a former Lake Bluff homeowner who visits LB family frequently, I wish there were more Airbnb options in the area. It would be a great way to stay in town. I miss a lot of things about Lake Bluff, but I don’t miss the snobbery of those who would restrict the freedoms of other people for the sake of keeping Lake Bluff exclusive.

  2. I too agree with Trish. I have been both a host and guest utilizing the Airbnb platform in the United States and New Zealand. Our house is also on Lake Michigan in Traverse City, Michigan and we offer our upstairs to guests ( our daughter is now a teacher in Glenwood Springs, Colorado) and have had nothing but wonderful people visiting us. So what good do we do? Well on Old Mission Peninsula there is extremely limited lodging but in Traverse City ( 6 miles south) there are hotels but as this is a big time tourist town in the summer the hotels all fill up and at rates of $300 per night for a room. So we offer our upstairs for certainly less than the $300 and get environmentally responsibly people staying with us. And guess what they go to our four restaurants on the Peninsula and spend money. This is where our college students work in the summer. So we are helping our local economy, at least in a small way. We have never had a complaint. The guests have been so wonderful. One couple even took us out for dinner. Bottom line residents of Lake Bluff need to learn about airbnb and its pluses and minuses (and there are some negatives) and make decisions based on knowledge and not incorrect factoids mentioned by some citizens at the Community of Whole meetings. Get the facts folks. Airbnb in some forms is wonderful for a community and in others maybe not. Regards, Curt Peterson

  3. I agree with Patricia and Ted. Some additional thoughts – since lodging is not available in East Lake Bluff (and there is not much of a hotel/motel selection in the entire area) many people would like to use short term rentals to house family members or guests for events such as weddings, family reunions, etc. It’s fun to have your guests in town instead of staying in Libertyville or over by the Costco at a chain hotel. Also, short term rentals are needed for families in Lake Bluff while working with builders on renovations, or as temporary housing when purchasing and selling real estate. Sometimes a family may need to rent for a few nights, weeks or a few months while in either of these transition phases.

    Restricting rentals to a one year period would force some of Lake Bluff’s own residents to move out if they were having a renovation done! Full disclosure – we recently sold our primary home in Lake Bluff and will now be part timers in a condo in town. While we are not considering short term rentals for our condo – we may consider rentals through real estate agents and/or local friends and family in the future. It would be nice to have that option if and when the time comes – rather than possibly leaving a property empty for months at a time.

  4. I agree with Patricia unequivocally. Lake Bluff has always been a welcoming community and actually strives to bring outsiders into our community. This entire issue is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist. Airbnb short term residents and guests of our community add to the fabric of our community and often do more to support our local businesses than we locals do. They are here on vacation and support our restaurants and boutique shops. It did use to be a summer resort community for the wealthy of Chicago. It is the heritage of our community. The “newbies” and “short-termers” add much and I suspect many that stay for a short time end up buying and joining us as homeowners. Good thing when the number of homes for sale are very significant. I don’t wish to bring property tax issues into this issue but it is a real issue. Many seniors may need this additional rental income to be able to stay in the community. Do we really want to over regulate a problem that does not exist?

    The vast majority of Airbnb customers are high end users that wish to join the community and not stay in a hotel, but join us to get the real flavor of the the community. Maybe we should be a gated community and not allow the Criterion, 4th of July Celebration, Farmers Market, etc. These are good people that want to join us, not destroy us! With the proposed regulations how on earth could we tell people they can rent but their nearby neighbors can’t because somebody else beat them to the neighborhood limitation. Also, how can seniors put up part or all of their home for rent when they solicit customers, get customers, but then must wait for the village bureaucracy to decide whether or nor not they will allow a weekend rental next weekend.

    In the interst of full disclosure, I do not not participate in Airbnb and do not do short term rentals but do have rental homes in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. I am a life-long resident of Lake Forest and love our community and have fought for our way of life. I consider Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood to be a single community that is a great place to live and there is no place like home. We should be welcoming in joining those that want to join us!

    Short term rentals actually help our community! We get people that want to join us and stay among us for a short time. They use our restaurants and shops. They allow seniors to generate income that allows them to pay their property taxes and stay in the community, allow people to get the flavor of our community and perhaps become full timers where they want to raise their children. They infuse cash and value into our community. Many people rent. I have been blessed to meet many wonderful people that have joined our community. Even our village president is a renter. Renters are good people! Quit trying to regulate a non issue. Just my thoughts.

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