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Recap: Planning and Development Committee

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m.

Minutes approved.

P 1 – Permission for front yard open parking space at 521 Ridge Ave.

Approved 6-1 Fiske votes no. Says she's opposed to front yard parking spaces.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, (who's not on the committee) says it's in her ward and she approves of it.

P2 – Special use for Clucker's Charcoal Chicken at 1936 Maple Ave.

Approved.

P3 – Amendment to Hotel-Motel tax to add bed and breakfast establishments.

Requested by Alderman Fiske.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says city has a total of one bed and breakfast, was the subject of very serious controversy at time it was proposed — claims that it would be an out of control crazy party house — but has ended up being an exquisite renovation of a home and guests have been very well behaved.

Says taxing this one B&B will cost more than the revenue to be generated from the tax.

Will there be 50 B&Bs, she asks? Says the regulations and costs probably inhibit the proliferation of them.

Says she is concerned about unlicensed, illegal B&Bs that won't be taxed.

Moves to hold in committee until have additional information.

Tendam seconds the move to hold.

Committee and city manager get into a discussion about the rules for holds in committee.

Rainey says its very unusual to have a tax that only applies to one entity.

Motion to hold in committee carries 4-3. Wynne, Wilson and Fiske vote against it.

City manager promises to provide update info — including info on illegal bed and breakfast operations in town.

Fiske says it's a matter of fairness to small hotel operators.

Meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.

City Council meeting to start at 8 p.m.

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