Responding to shooting, Lake Barrington bans short-term home rentals
In the wake of a shooting early Sunday involving guests from a party in a rented Lake Barrington home, the village board passed an ordinance at a special meeting Wednesday outlawing homeowners from renting out their properties for less than three months at a time.
"We are deeply troubled by these events and hope that this board action will prevent similar short-term rentals from occurring in the future," Village President Kevin Richardson said in a statement released after the vote. "Our first priority is the safety of our residents."
While praised by some residents, the new rule isn't sitting well with the owner of the rented home on 500 block of Welch Circle, who said it unfairly punishes her and other homeowners who use rental websites like Airbnb.com.
Tammy Wolf, an Algonquin-based real estate agent, said she has been renting the four-bedroom home to make some income while she tries to find a buyer.
Wolf said she did not give permission for the renter to have a large party at the house. The young man who rented the house told her over the phone it would be a small family birthday party with at most eight guests, she said.
"Shame on me that I got lied to, that I expect the best out of people," Wolf said.
Authorities say the shooting occurred about 5 miles away in Barrington, when guests driving home from the party fired upon other guests along Route 14. Three Joliet man have been charged in connection with the shooting, which left a 21-year-old man in critical condition with a gunshot wound to his face.
Wolf questioned whether village leaders would responded similarly if a local business had hosted a party whose guests later did something illegal outside the community.
Lake Barrington Village Attorney Jim Bateman said businesses are treated differently because they have a manager on duty to supervise the premises.
"When she signs the lease with someone, she has no control over what happens there," Bateman said.
Bateman said the village staff first considered implementing an ordinance against short-term rentals weeks ago.
"Given the more serious nature of this incident there was really no reason to not put it on the books immediately," he said.
Village Administrator Chris Martin said several residents spoke in favor of the ordinance Wednesday, saying short-term rental properties aren't appropriate for their neighborhoods.
Wolf said there was little damage to the home from the party, and she's already rented the residence again. She said she is speaking with her attorney about the implications of the new ordinance.
Bateman said the measure is effective immediately and the village is prepared to enforce it.
According to the ordinance, violators will be subject to a mandatory fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000 per day per violation. A cease and desist letter will be sent to anyone in the village advertising short-term rentals, according to the village.