Northcenter-based Pat?s Place will be able to stay in business for at least a couple of more months, because a proposed city ordinance that aims to regulate vacation nightly rentals has been tabled yet again. During a joint meeting of the City Council?s committees on zoning and licensing, some aldermen expressed concerns about the scoop of the latest version of the proposed ordinance, which is now in its 27th draft, a new City Council record. If passed, the ordinance would require nightly rental owners to purchase a $500 license for each unit every two years.
Pat Clark owns Pat?s Place, which has been in business for four years and is located at 1911 W. Berteau Ave. She says the proposed ordinance could be the final nail in the coffin for Pat?s Place.
?This seems punitive,? she says. ?The fee for my two units is $1,000. The fee for a 370-room hotel is $999. So I?m paying more than a 370-room hotel. I have the income potential of about a two-room hotel. Why??
Clark says she lives in her building and that a majority of her guests are friends and family members of her neighbors. She also says she has a hotel license with the state.
The ordinance?s chief promoter, downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), has for nearly two years tried bringing the vacation nightly rental industry under city regulation. The ordinance originally targeted downtown condominium owners rent out their units as hotel rooms, but Reilly broadened the scoop of the ordinance by adding R-3 and R-3.5 zoning districts, which include two- and three-flats and single family homes, like Pat?s Place.
Some aldermen were not exactly thrilled about that change and were worried about the impact it would have in areas with foreclosed homes.
?This is a good thing that could really, really blow up and go in a direction that we really don?t see it going into,? said Ald. Deborah Graham (29th). ?Our areas have a lot of foreclosed homes, and this will allow people to jump on those houses and create a new rental market in our communities.?
Reilly said he?ll continue to work with alderman and iron out some details, but he asked that the committees reconvene next month to take a vote.
?I do not have it in for the nightly vacation rental industry,? Reilly said during this week?s committee meeting. ?This [proposed ordinance] provides vacation rental owners the mechanism that they need to be a lawful industry.?