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  1. Short term rentals like airbnb have helped me keep my home. As a retiree it is not easy paying Lake Bluff’s $6000 property taxes (and still rising). So I have turned to renting out the spare bedroom.

    I make sure my guests are respectful and almost everyone has been clean and quiet, plus the new income helps to pay the bills.

    I hope we don’t ban airbnb, because otherwise I won’t be able to keep up with the bills and may need move out of the home I have come to know so well.

  2. Gregory, Welcome to Lake Bluff!
    You have chosen a beautiful Midwestern coastal community with stellar schools, tree hugging sidewalks, dog friendly beaches, blissful biker paths and a metro fast track to the city. Lake Bluff, with its 6,000 resident simplicity, has the power to calm your soul.

    7 years ago I moved here from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts fresh from a graduate degree with two (out of 3) young adults in tow. The beautiful estate homes sprinkled among old and new bungalows, cottages, split levels, colonials and victorians showcased a unique community of peaceful acceptance for all. Added to the welcoming view was the central police and fire station, happy little ice cream shop, town butcher and quaint roller slide playground. I was smitten.
    Discovering the air quality wasn’t the best, taxes are laughable and winters are brutal didn’t deter my enjoying dog walks and chatting with all.
    Every new community you move to will have something unexpected. For you it was the No Hotel Signs. For me it was discovering neighbors that pull into garages to enter air conditioned homes while watching their lawn service workers. I thought close proximity to neighbors would ensure we look out for each other. Instead I found the new normal, people living side by side who do not know their neighbors. So I started a neighborhood book discussion group and a gaming night and volunteered in local activities. I got to know people, as you will, to discover community.
    While I agree whole heartedly with not having investors come into town to buy up properties and rent them out short term, this is where our similarities end.
    I believe that a neighborhood is not about allowing, or not, your neighbor to go away to Florida for a month while her friend comes to stay in her house for a month; (as well as other such scenarios) Community is the trust, awareness and security in the knowledge of the reason why and type of person your neighbor is.
    Keeping this in mind you can know that short-term rentals will not affect community character within Lake Bluff. Shared rental platforms with flexible regulations provide secured awareness for that which has been going on undercover for centuries. They are in fact safer.

    Know that when I rent out short term I dictate no parties allowed. When I rent short term I dictate who can come into the premises. When I rent short term I can screen tenants to a magnitude that would impress. When I rent short term, tenants I would not want long term leave quickly. When I rent short term it is a lot of work.

    Regarding Tangley Oaks, Armour Woods and The Sanctuary, they are home association communities. Residents who move there pay a home association to manage and set the rules. It is good such communities are offered to those who want them.
    Further, unlike Park Ridge, who has a crime consideration cause in their city of 37,000+ Lake Bluff is small enough to handle short term and home sharing. And, unlike Lake Bluff, Mettawa was established as a community dedicated to preserving open lands and low-density residential development .

    Like the perfect smoothie, the rights of any community are a combination of individual rights blended together for the welfare of all. How tasteless would be a blend of sameness. What I would ask is that with your smoothie you “beef up” on knowledge about short term rental platforms. I find no convincing argument how properly regulated short term rentals will alter the character of the community. It hasn’t happened for the past 2-3 years.

  3. Lake Bluff already has ordinances to prevent excessive noise and “unruly” behavior. I live in the heart of Lake Bluff (East of Evanston), and I hear noisy (permanent) neighbors on weeknights all the time. Is there any evidence that ‘vacationers’ are any more noisy or rowdy than other residents? There is also a constant din of noise from lawn maintenance crews among other things. Passing laws because of what “might” happen is irrational and costly. There is nothing to prove that short term rentals would increase if allowed here. Such rentals “might” change the character of Lake Bluff, or they might not. Let’s make rules based on what does happen, and not on what might happen.

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