Airbnb ‘war’ back on in West Lafayette
‘I thought we had won them over,’ residents say, after Board of Zoning Appeals grants permission for another short-term rental, as mayor and school board plead for a pause amid housing shortage
After several months of finding traction in neighborhood battles to stop a wave of Airbnb-style short-term rentals in West Lafayette – a fight that brought support from the city’s mayor and school board – residents found themselves frustrated and on the losing end again Wednesday night.
“I thought we had won them over,” West Lafayette resident Rich Hogan said, after storming out of an Area Board to Zoning Appeals hearing where a lone special zoning exception was granted for a short-term rental was granted in a 4-2 vote.
Previous months had seen a series of special exceptions for short-term rentals in West Lafayette get denied, as pressure ratcheted up in neighborhoods looking to stem the Airbnb/Vrbo tide in the name of community feel and preserving housing stock for families with school-age kids.
Wednesday night’s vote went in favor Shie Kantor, a homeowner at 2215 Carlisle Road who was looking to use the one-story ranch for short-term rentals while she was in New York City for work and in case she returned to West Lafayette.
“If they’re not going to listen to people in West Lafayette and to the mayor and to everyone else?” Hogan said. “Back to war, I guess.”