Chicago aldermen are scheduled to vote Tuesday on regulating home sharing services, including a new proposal from Mayor Rahm Emanuel that could keep Airbnb out of areas with mostly single family homes.
This is yet another change to the long-debated ordinance that would regulate temporary rentals through services like Airbnb. Some aldermen are concerned that big developers are using Airbnb to create hotel-like areas in residential neighborhoods. But Airbnb officials say the current ordinance would hurt middle-class families who are just trying to make extra money.
Mayor Emanuel is now suggesting that lower-density areas around the city should be able to petition their neighbors to keep out Airbnb. This wouldn’t apply to high density neighborhoods like Lincoln Park or downtown.
North Side Alderman Michelle Smith (43rd) took issue with this, saying it denies most homeowners in her area protections that others could receive. Smith said only three of about 640 blocks in her ward could qualify for this opt-out program.
Lauren Chooljian covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her @laurenchooljian.