Recap: Planning and Development Committee

1026 Garnett Place. (Google Maps)

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting, at which aldermen decided to postpone action on a vacation rental license for a four-unit building at 1026 Garnett Place.

A staff memo indicates this would become the fourth licensed vacation rental property in the city. The city is expected to start taxing vacation rental operations at the start of next year.

The only other item on the committee's agenda is a special use request for a Nic's Organic Fast Food restaurant at 2628 Gross Point Road, the one-time site of a gas station.

A rendering of the proposed Nic's restaurant.

Concerns about parking led to a delay in introduction of the Nic's proposal last month.

The committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.


Meeting called to order at 7:19 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Public Comment

Robert Taylor, owner of 1026 Garnett Place, long-term Evanston residents and former Plan Commission member, now runs vacation rental management company in Lake Tahoe. Says Northwestern University's move to house more students on campus and construction of new large private developments downtown has made the private off-campus housing market more seasonal than it used to be.

Says vacation rental wouldn't be full time on his property, but would make the property more viable. Says he's OK with the vacation rental tax the Council is considering. Says a lot of vacation rentals now operate unlicensed in Evanston. Says 28 homes are listed on AirBnB this week.

Says typical vacation rental guest is 20-plus years older than your typical college student. Says claims that would turn it into a party neighborhood are misplaced.

Joshua Huppert, 2630 Crawford, says hopes council will take a final vote on the Nic's proposal tonight. Says he's already been to four meetings about it already. 

Tia Kensey, 3611 Hillside, says is concerned about safety if Nic's is constructed. Says lots of traffic accidents there already. Says fast food customers typicall drive fast, creating new hazards.

Becky Houston, lives on Park Place, brings her kids, says Nic's would make the area less safe.

End of public comment

P1 - Vacation rental for 1026 Garnett

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, says she's gotten a lot of correspondence from residents concerned about the vacation rental proposal

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, asks when would be vacation rental.

Taylor says plans to use as a vacation rental during the summer -- keep it a regular rental during the school year.

Says even if have a 12-month lease, a third to a half of the time they blow off the lease when the summer comes.

Committee votes to hold the issue until next meeting.

P2 - Nic's Organic Fast Food, 2628 Gross Point

Alderman Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward, urges rejection of the proposal

Vote is unanimous to reject the proposal. Doesn't move on to City Council.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

 

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Comments

Recap: Planning and Development Committee

Giving opportunity for vacation rental business to grow is taken into account. It is a healthy business competition among all others who has the same type of business. Somehow, general statutes of the state has to be reviewed to determine the applicable laws and regulations as it relates to leasing vacation property. Regulations must be set for both property owners and residential neighbors fairly as to promote safety and economic offers for the area. 

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