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Lakewood Makes Right Decision With One-Year Halt On New Vacation Rentals

The Lakewood Village Board’s decision to ban new short-term rentals in the village for one year won’t make everyone happy.

But it’s the right decision.

Not all property owners who own short-term rentals have problem properties. And those property owners won’t be affected by the moratorium. But something should be done about short-term rentals that disturb the bucolic village’s summertime peace with loud parties, garbage strewn from one end of a property to the other and, at times, illegal drug activity. Noise, parking congestion, crime and late-night parties have all been the subject of complaints to village officials in recent months.

Village officials have several tools at their disposal and should spend the next year figuring out the right mix for Lakewood. Some cities have created “quiet-hour” guidelines for short-term rentals to prevent loud, late-night parties that disturb neighbors. Other areas have created guest limits at short-term rentals to limit parking congestion and noise in residential neighborhoods.

Lakewood’s board must carefully balance the needs of neighbors with the concerns with the concerns of property owners who are investing their hard-earned money in an enterprise that can make them money.

There was a lot of interest in the issue at Monday’s Village Board meeting. Those concerned should invest their energy into the process to craft a zoning law they can live with. This is the time to sort this issue out in Lakewood once and for all. Those with opinions on short-term rentals, then, should speak now.

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