Short Term Rental Ordinance Update

Community Meeting Re: Nursery School Proposal for Bissell Street 
Dear Neighbor,
With your support, I've been deeply involved in efforts to regulate the $25 billion dollar short term rental (STR) industry. Our goal has been to avoid the problems documented in key tourist destinations around the world where vacation rentals have disrupted the quality of life in stable neighborhoods and displaced full-time residents.    We have strived to create common sense  rules  that would include restrictions on the number of such short term rentals on residential blocks; deference to condos, townhomes and rental buildings that prohibit short term rentals; and effective policing. 

The negative impacts of short-term rentals, however, have not been uniformly experienced throughout the wards.There are fewer than 25 STRs in two-thirds of the communities across our city, while our ward has about 500 such units, Moreover, 80% of the units in our neighborhoods are available  full time, indicating a high number of  investor-owned units. We are also one of only two or three wards with a substantial number of short-term rentals on traditional residential streets that do not contain high-rises.

While there are many aldermen who are as concerned as I am about the potential loss of community identity, it is not yet clear how many City Council members view the proliferation of short-term rentals as problematic.

Our community's efforts to highlight the impact of short term rentals, particularly those controlled by investors, resulted in delaying a final vote on the ordinance last month.   As I write you, the work continues to try to strengthen the ordinance.

The final hearing on this legislation will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 1:00 PM  in City Council chambers before the Housing and Zoning committees.  You are certainly welcome to attend and I will keep you posted on any significant developments.

Thank you for your invaluable insights over the past several weeks on this vital issue. I pledge to do all I can to represent your interests as we approach a final vote.

Community Meeting Regarding Park West Co-op 
Relocation to Bissell Street Mansion

Please join my office and the Sheffield Neighbors Association (SNA) at a community meeting to review the proposed relocation of the Park West Co-Operative Nursery School to 2214 N. Bissell Street.

This is an opportunity to engage in a direct dialogue with  the development team to gain a better understanding of this proposal and to have your questions answered. My office will be present at this meeting to monitor the discussion, take notes, and record your feedback. 

In the meantime, if my office can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at (773) 348-9500 or visit our website

WHAT: Relocation of Park West Co-Operative Nursery School

WHO: Hosted by Alderman Michele Smith and Sheffield Neighbors Association

WHEN: Monday, June 27th at 6:30 pm

WHERE: DePaul University's Arts and Letters Building
  2315 N Kenmore Street
  Room 10 3

Community Meeting on CPS Lead Testing

CPS is hosting a community meeting Tuesday, June 21st at 6 PM at Walter Payton High School, 1034 N. Wells, to discuss the  ongoing lead testing program at CPS schools. Representatives from the Chicago  Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) will be present.   Parents, families, and other members of the CPS community are invited to attend  to learn more about the testing process itself and planned next steps.

Operation Help - A - Hero

The 43rd Ward and Operation Help-A- Hero will be collecting basic household items and toiletries throughout the month of June in an effort to help the hundreds of Chicagoland veterans who are homeless. All donations will be delivered to the United State's Department of Veteran's Affairs, who will distribute materials to qualifying veterans  in need of assist ance. Please drop off donations at the Ward office, 2523 N. Halsted.

Have a great weekend, 
Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward