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Evanston aldermen are scheduled to take a final vote tonight on new regulations for bed and breakfast establishments in town.

With the Southeast Evanston Association urging its members to lobby aldermen for strict restrictions, but some aldermen arguing for less than the 750-foot separation requirement contained in the latest draft of the ordinance, it’s not clear how the debate will turn out.

B&B opponents claim they will destroy property values by bringing commercial businesses into residential neighborhoods.

Supporters — many of whom have stayed in bed and breakfast establishments in other communities — see them as a way to offer more lodging options to visitors in town and generate extra tax revenue for the city.

The aldermen who favor stricter limits on the establishments also won changes last month that would prohibit B&Bs in two-family dwellings and that would require that on-street parking not be counted in providing the required number of spaces for a B&B.

The issue has been on the front burner, at least for some lakefront residents, since last year when neighbors objected to a proposed B&B at 300 Church St., which ultimately was approved by the City Council.

Update: 7/10/12: The aldermen voted Monday to postpone action on the bed and breakfast issue until their Aug. 13 meeting, so all of them could be present for the vote.

Related document

The proposed B&B ordinance (.pdf)

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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