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  1. The Village of Lake Bluff has ordinances in place today with regard to disturbances, parking and the appropriate uses of property. So the first question the Zoning Board of Trustees and residents should be considering is whether there should there be different rules for residents versus visitors to residences.

    Second, there is a process in place today for residents to voice complaints to the Village or other appropriate authorities if their neighbors violate those rules. Is there value to Village authorities in knowing whether a complaint is being filed against a resident or a visitor to a residence?

    Another consideration relates to zoning. Is Airbnb considered to be a commercial enterprise? Do Airbnb operators have to pay taxes on income as a separate business? Because if so, Village zoning rules about commercial use of property in residential neighborhoods may be relevant.

    Last, some municipalities have required that the homeowner remain on site while the property is being rented. That may provide some comfort and reassurance to neighbors.

    Lake Bluffers are a unique tribe. Many of us grew up here, and many others grew up wanting to live here. So it’s important to preserve the culture of Lake Bluff. But our Village is not a condo association or gated community that can impose its own more restrictive rules on its members. It is open to anyone who has the means to live here.

    Residents of Lake Bluff agree to pay high taxes for the opportunity to enjoy living here. So shouldn’t residents who own their homes and pay taxes have the right to lend those homes to others if they so choose? (I recognize the flip side of that coin….)

    I believe there is a happy compromise. Residents who would like to register their homes as Airbnbs should be asked to apply for an annual license which can be revoked if visitors routinely violate municipal ordinances – the same ordinances that govern the behavior and property use of all residents. This should provide ample incentive for Airbnb operators to properly vet those to whom they rent their homes. It’s self policing, in a way, something that I believe our Police Department would encourage.

    I look forward to the continuing conversation among residents and the Village leaders on this issue. And I hope that we can continue these conversations in a way that honors our love for our Village and our respect for each other.

  2. Glad to see this news source move forward to educate in a research driven approach. When I called the various communities (including Deerfield , Libertyville, Evanstan, +++) at times it depended on who I spoke with within the community, as to the answer received. So it was mighty fine to read some independent data gathering.

    Your informal research supports what was previously stated; that neighboring communities are allowing somewhat liberal short term rental policies, by their lack of discouraging or taking action on short term rentals, when there have been no problems.

    Perhaps these communities are busy taking action on other codes in place that do address safety, such as cutting the low hanging branches slapping a bike riders face while riding on public sidewalks? Perhaps

    Further research would have highlighted that the standard short term rental definition is defined as less than 31 days in the following communities. Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnwood, Wilmette, Waukegan, Winetka etc. (time did not allow continuing contacting of towns)

    A short term rental is considered less than 31 days. A short term rental is not considered less than 90 days.

    Plans are underway to draft another “Opinion” piece to build awareness of the law, the issue and the benefits.

    Until then, consider the impact of increased restrictions.
    “In “The Torrent of Laws” (The Freeman, January 1979), Henry Hazlitt made the point cogently: “The mere multiplication and proliferation of laws is itself a major evil. Every unnecessary law is itself bound to be pernicious. And almost all laws that interfere with the functioning of the free market tend to delay or prevent necessary readjustments in the balance of production and consumption and to have other consequences opposite to those that the framers intended.” and
    “As Barron’s reported, next to bombing, land use restrictions are the most effective way to destroy cities.”

  3. This is an excellent compendium of FACTS regarding North Shore short term rentals! The crucial set of facts that needs to be expanded upon is is the exact number of legitimate complaints in any of the North Shore communities regarding short term rentals. Emphasis is on *legitimate* complaints. Hint: the mere observation of an extra vehicle or two, or the observation of a handful extra people is not a legitimate complaint. I hope Lake Bluff’s decision remains fact-based and keeps irrational emotions out. Otherwise any new regulations are a solution to a non-existent problem…

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