Evanston aldermen tonight will get to try again to decide whether they want to ban or regulate vacation rentals — or just leave them alone.

The city’s legal department has prepared two different ordinances on the subject for the City Council’s consideration.

They both define a vacation rental as a dwelling unit or portion thereof offered for rent for less than 30 days. But they exclude from that definition hotels and motels, lodging establishments, bed and breakfasts and home-sharing agreements.

And the ordinances exempt short-term rentals in connection with a contract to sell the property, units in two-and-three-unit buildings where one of the units is owner-occupied, rentals by professors on sabbatical and home-swapping agreements.

One ordinance would ban vacation rentals, the other would require a $50 annual license and impose various operating requirements — including a minimum 24-hour rental period. It also provides for fines for violations and gives the city the option of revoking the license under various circumstances.

The other would ban vacation rentals completely.

The vacation rental debate arose after neighbors of one property on Ashland Avenue near Ryan Field complained about its operation last fall.

Listings on various online vacation rental locator services indicate that several other vacation rental properties have operated in Evanston for some time without drawing any public complaints.

Related stories

Vacation rentals: Ban, license or leave alone?

Vacation rentals to get the workshop treatment

Vacation rental ban: Will it work?

Neighbors howl about vacation rental on Ashland

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Only one complaint, but…

    One complaint, but how many hours spent on it? And it's not over yet.

  2. Vacation rentals

    Why are "hotels and motels, lodging establishments, bed and breakfasts and home-sharing agreements" being exluded since they all have customers who could be wandering around the neighborhoods of Evanston. Isn't that what the complaint is about?

    1. “Why are “hotels and motels,

      "Why are "hotels and motels, lodging establishments, bed and breakfasts and home-sharing agreements" being exluded since they all have customers who could be wandering around the neighborhoods of Evanston."

      They are already regulated – as hotels, motels, etc.

      As for people 'wandering around the neighborhoods of Evanston'….most of the hotels are downtown, in my neighborhood.  I'm not terribly concerned about guests at the Hilton Garden Inn or Hilton Orrington "wandering around" causing trouble.

       I am more worried about people who come here by car, or CTA, or who live in Evanston already.

  3. Class of B&B and ‘vacation’ rentals

    I find it very odd the opposition to the B&B rentals.  Who do people think are those who will pay $250 p/n ?  Certainly not college students in for a game. Quiet New England towns and Galena Ill. have long welcomed such visitors and I suspect they are much more 'conservative' in the types of individuals they expect to rent the units, i.e. fairly affluent, wanting to get away from the big cities and enjoy the peace and quiet [why those criteria would lead them to Evanston is a mystery unless they plan on trips to Chicago museums and shops and Botanical Gardens and such].

    These should be the types of vistors Evanston WANTS.

    In the rare event hordes of college students want to rent a house during a football weekend and throw an orgy and bacchanalia, I don't think we have much to fear and arragements or well crafted ordinances can deal with that.

    Have those who protest B&B ever been outside their VERY immediate neighborhood and seen what life is like in many parts of Evanston—around off campus NU housing or parts of the west and south sides of Evanston? Seems not.  B&B would probably bring a class of people that few in Evanston would match.  I guess the only real fear is that the renters would look at Evanston [or read about protests over B&B, Council spending, infinite Council deliberations and tell their friends to avoid Evanston and get a hotel in Chicago.

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