A large group of South Jacksonville neighbors have said ‘no’ to an AirBnB coming to their neighborhood.
The South Jacksonville Plans Commission met last Thursday night for the first time since August to hear a special use permit application from Ashley Lu. Lu currently owns a home at 1710 Linden, just north of Vandalia.
Lu had previously used the home as an AirBnB, but after an incident with a tenant, she was told that the business would have to be brought before the village’s plans commission for approval of operating moving forward.
Plans Commission Chair Larry Moore says the neighborhood showed up in a unified front saying they did not want an AirBnb in their neighborhood: “I think there was no question that [the neighborhood] was opposed to it. We had a petition with 28 signatures on it, most all of them from that neighborhood. Nobody was in favor of allowing the AirBnB short-term rental. I get it. The neighbors have lived in that neighborhood for a long time. It’s a little, quiet area. They’ve lived there most all their lives. It’s exactly as one of the neighbors during the meeting described – the kids don’t have sidewalks so they use the road to play in; people walk in the street; they know each other. They all keep an eye out for each other there. It was just that they didn’t want it in their community. The area there was opposed to it.”
Moore says he had reservations about the idea. He says it just wasn’t a good fit for the surrounding neighborhood that has a lot of young families and elderly who are used to knowing their neighbors: “I personally had a problem with it. This is something different than a home occupation. This is pretty much a stand-alone business and you are sticking it in the middle of a R-3 zoned neighborhood. Consequently, I just had a bad feeling about putting a business in a situation like that. Personally, I’ve used AirBnB. I consider myself a good renter. I think AirBnBs are nice, but I just don’t think in this situation in this neighborhood that it was a good fit.”
The Plans Commission ultimately denied the special use permit with just a single vote in favor of the business and 4 against.
Lu said during the meeting that if the AirBnB failed, she would instead be turning the property into a long-term rental property.