LAKE BLUFF — Before Lake Bluff’s Plan Commission & Zoning Board of Appeals finishes crafting a proposed ordinance regulating short-term rental of real estate, it will likely receive further guidance from the Village Board of Trustees and Village President Kathy O’Hara.
The board decided June 26 at Village Hall to gather as a Committee of the Whole to discuss short-term rentals after the members thoroughly review the deliberations of the last two PCZBA meetings.
When the board first sent the short-term rental issue to the PCZBA during a May 8 Committee of the Whole meeting, it expected the commissioners to recommend legislation for discussion and a possible vote June 26.
The vote did not occur because the PCZBA decided after a public hearing June 21 it needed more time to digest all the issues in the draft ordinance. It continued the public hearing to a special meeting July 12 to finish its work and make a recommendation to the trustees.
During a DailyNorthShore.com interview after the board meeting, Village Administrator Drew Irvin said the July 12 meeting will be cancelled. He told the trustees and O’Hara during his report the PCZBA wanted more guidance.
Commissioner David Burns specifically wanted a definition of short-term rental, DNS reported on June 21. During that meeting, 25 people offered testimony on short-term rentals. Those who spoke demonstrated the divide in the community: 16 said they were against the practice and nine supported it.
Irvin told the board during his report that the commissioners have heard approximately 130 items of public testimony either through correspondence or orally at the public hearing. Between the two meetings they have spent more than seven hours trying to agree on provisions of the ordinance. He indicated they want further direction from the trustees.
“It’s very clear they need more time,” Irvin said. “It is clear this is a very difficult topic with unique issues surrounding it.”
O’Hara said after Irvin’s report that she has reviewed most of the information from the two PCZBA meetings and wants to finish doing that before taking any further steps. The trustees indicated they wanted to see a framework from the commissioners before making a final decision on whether to regulate or ban short-term rentals.
“It will be best to know what their recommendation would be,” said Trustee William Meyer.
“We should get the recommendation even if it is not in a permanent form,” added trustee Eric Grenier. “I want to see something before I vote.”
After Meyer and Grenier indicated they wanted to see a PCABA recommendation, Irvin suggested the board meet as a Committee of the Whole to give the commissioners a further idea of what kind of regulations they want to see. O’Hara seized on the idea.
“I was thinking the same thing,” said O’Hara. “We need to see the video (of the June 21 meeting) first and see the minutes.”
Irvin said the Committee of the Whole meeting will likely take place in late July or early August.
Before the May 8 Committee of the Whole meeting, there were five Lake Bluff properties offered for lease on a short-term basis through Airbnb, DNS reported on May 9. Shortly after that meeting the village issued a cease and desist letter to those property owners.