Evanston aldermen gave final approval this week to a revised plan to license short-term rentals.

What started last fall as a demand from neighbors of one property on Ashland Avenue near Ryan Field that vacation rentals be completely banned, ended up as a much more limited set of restrictions.

Many of the changes were proposed by Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, who at Monday night’s meeting won approval to change the ordinance’s wording to let homeowners rent their properties once a year for a period shorter than a month without requiring any city oversight.

In addition, short-term rentals would be permitted without a license in connection with a contract to sell the property and in the case of  persons displaced while their own home was being repaired.

People who want to rent out their property for periods of less than a month more than once a year will be required to seek a license.

Gaining the initial license will require providing notice to neighbors and winning approval from the City Council.

Annual license renewals would generally be handled by city staff. The license will also require payment of a $50 annual fee.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, was among those voting against the ordinance. She said the measure was “trying to fix things that aren’t broken” and that “people will find ways around it.”

In addition to Wilson and Burrus, aldermen Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, and Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, voted against the measure.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Terrible

    What a pointless waste of time, money, and energy.  I can't believe our alderman voted for this. 

    1. Too many rules

      Evanston already has too many rules. It's ridiculus that we are going to inconvenience a whole bunch of people becuase one person complained.

      1. One person complained

        "  It's ridiculus that we are going to inconvenience a whole bunch of people becuase one person complained."

        Welcome to Evanston.

        This seems to be how things work here.  Whenever someone wants to tear down an old building, put up a new building, open a sidewalk cafe,  rent a house,  sell beer, or do anything other than put up a single family detached home, there will always be at least one person who complains.  

        And there is one alderman who is  always willing to side with the complainers.

      2. Complainer count

        Considerably more than one person complained … although the vast majority of the complaints the City Council heard were from neighbors of one property. See story here.

        — Bill

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