The Transient Occupancy debate is an important and passionate Village wide matter as it has so many potential downsides for the whole and limited upsides benefiting but a small minority of home owners. In consideration of the comprehensive impact of Short Term Rentals to Transient Occupants, the final decision making process and outcome should be fair, impartial and without influence from special interests.
The most democratic and direct decision making process available to residents of Lake Bluff is the referenda. To be sure, not all issues are important enough, universal or impactful enough to warrant a referendum. The Transient Occupancy Short Term rental matter reaches that threshold, if for no other reasons; it has brought passion on both sides, has community wide impact, and it is long term in consequence. Furthermore, it is divisive and has polarized the community and the Board of Trustees, to the point, where it is probable one vote from the Village President will make the final determination.
Both sides claim the moral high ground and the resident majority of support for their position; iffy claims, aside from the abundance of lawn signs against Airbnb’s, and the total absence of signs in their favor.
It seems therefore, to be obvious that the split of positions among the Village Board and the absence of empirical knowledge of the position of the majority of residents, we have an obvious and compelling case for a referendum that would provide clarity, resolution through direct expression of the majority, and a clear expression of democracy at work that will bring this conflict to closure, gracefully and conclusively.
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