Cannabis, Affordable Housing, Short-Term Rentals on Council Agenda

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This Tuesday, Naperville City Council will discuss several hot button issues on its August 4 meeting agenda.

Cannabis Sales

City staff will present an ordinance to council regarding adult-use cannabis dispensary zoning requirements in Naperville. The ordinance addresses several different aspects, including:

  • A maximum of three operating dispensaries
  • A 1,000-foot separation between dispensaries and primary and secondary schools, though daycare facilities are exempt from this separation
  • A 250-foot separation from residentially-zoned property
  • A 1,500-foot separation from existing dispensaries
  • Parking requirements
  • Dispensaries must operate within B2, B3, HS, I, ORI, or RD zoning

cannabis zoningRecreational cannabis sales have been discussed regularly in council chambers since it was announced that Illinois would legalize it in May of 2019. A citywide referendum in March 2020 showed 53% of Naperville voters approve of adult-use cannabis sales.

Affordable Housing

Council will also vote on whether to approve eight recommendations from the Housing Advisory Commission. All eight recommendations are intended to improve affordable housing in Naperville.

Consultant S.B. Friedman made 22 total recommendations, the following eight of which were adopted by the HAC:

  1. Implement an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
  2. Develop a working relationship with affordable housing developers;
  3. Develop a strategy to leverage publicly owned land to address housing challenges;
  4. Develop a specific plan to preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH);
  5. Establish additional resources to assist populations with special housing needs;
  6. Create housing specific staff positions within the City;
  7. Establish a Revolving Rehabilitation Loan Fund specifically targeted towards low income seniors who currently own in Naperville so that they can make the necessary repairs to their home and age in place;
  8. Establish a Housing Trust Fund specifically targeted towards helping veterans, seniors, the population with special housing needs, and first responders including nurses, police, and fire in purchasing a home.

HAC Commissioner Mark Rice said in June that he is particularly excited about the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.

“The inclusionary zoning ordinance is where a developer sets aside a specific number of units or a percentage of their development for affordable housing, or in lieu of that set aside, they could also pay into the housing development trust fund,” he said.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has twice cited Naperville for not meeting affordable housing standards, defined as housing costs making up no more than 30% of a household’s income. It was the only Illinois city of more than 50,000 residents faulted for a shortage.

Short-Term Rental Properties

Also on the agenda are restrictions for Short-Term Rental properties like Airbnb and VRBO. Several incidents at short-term rentals this year have been brought up at council meetings, and some properties have been brought up multiple times.

City staff has prepared an ordinance that would impose further restrictions on short-term rentals, including registering with the city, occupancy limits, not marketing properties as “party houses”, and requiring owners to live on the property as a primary residence for at least six months of the year.

That final restriction would essentially eliminate the use of houses as investment properties.

Staff will also include a progressive fine structure for properties in violation of any of those rules.

The agenda item also lists an option for council to prohibit short-term rental properties entirely, but would require staff to come back with a different ordinance at a future meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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