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  1. Writer states: “Property rights aren’t absolute and, no, people cannot do whatever they want with their homes…”
    We can agree that property rights should not be absolute. However, the real question is what right does a neighbor or group of neighbors have to restrict the use off a property when using it improves the town, improves property values, does not affect congestion, increases safety* and provides for a healthier lifestyle.
    (*Consider well vetted shared economy platforms that bring in tax revenue and require fire/safety inspections versus property owners using Craig’s List or other such under the table sources)

    Question: Lots of people work from home. Isn’t home sharing/short-term renting an in-home occupation allowable under the current code?

    To my knowledge, no one asked any board to consider home sharing as a home occupation. This was not mentioned in any discussion I heard. Are you privy to information the general public is not?
    I ask that you don’t confuse the issue. Doing so could result in a can of worms. For instance you write that according to Section 10-13-3 of the zoning chart no businesses can operate in residential areas. We all have neighbors that operate businesses out of their home. Are you advising that a cease and desist should go out to all of the businesses operating out of residential homes. And how will that effect property values, health and welfare when your neighbors can’t work at their livelihood within their homes anymore?

    Also, let me understand this a little better, with current zoning residential houses do not need to follow as rigorous a safety code, but businesses do. And this makes residential areas safer?

    Concerning the cease and desist letter, it was written by a town administrator, it does not have the merits of a “legal opinion”. We have forwarded the town a “legal opinion” . Unfortunately, towns have the right to enact ordinances that might not be upheld in a court of law. Some property owners know this. The town can be forced to incur expenses to defend a position which is an unwarranted wish of a few residents. Also, growing case law is finding in favor of homeowners on this issue.. How would such a process help all residents? How would it be best use of town resources?

    I propose a smarter move would be to encourage intelligent volunteers serving as town trustees and zoning board members to continue to work towards an understanding for ALL taxpayers.
    Threatening our town volunteers by stating “….we deserve – and should demand – better from our elected officials” might not be the best approach. This is a very complex and emotional issue across the country. My expectation, or in your words “demand” is that the volunteer board not submit to political pressure, but instead study the issue and work diligently to review for best interest for all. Then they will EARN my vote.

    -Further, regarding No 3 on 3. It would have changed the downtown appearance of the town. Short term and shared housing does not affect any appearance or character.

    The only constant in life is change. There are no hotels in residential Lake Bluff based on any conventional definition. And yes, we are now in the year 2017 trying to apply definitions to rules that go way back. It is a case of technology growing faster than zoning code updates, everywhere.

    So, restated….let us start by providing real definitions with the intent of solving real problems rather than made up issues.

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