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Peoria City Council wants to take another look at short-term rentals


The city council Tuesday night voted to defer short-term rentals (or STR’s) for further discussion. This comes as additional rentals seek council approval.

Council members reconsidered two properties and one new rental - all located in district two. Third District Councilmember Timothy Riggenbach expressed three new measures the council could all agree on to adopt STR’s.

Riggenbach says special use short-term rentals would end when there is a change in ownership. He also says the property should have a determined amount of unrelated tenants - currently six are mentioned; and a cap on STR’s allowed in neighborhoods.

“Bring this back in two weeks and let the Planning and Zoning Commission weigh in with some thoughts,” Riggenbach said. “And then get this done so people know we’re open for business but we do have expectations.”

At-large Councilmember Beth Jensen voted no to reconsider two short-term rentals in district two. She was the sole no vote.

“I voted against the motion to reconsider because I think we made the right decision in this case last week,” Jensen said. “I do support and commend Councilmember Riggenbach and Grayeb for asking the staff to look at other limitations.”

Jensen supports the measures, but questions if the STR cap in neighborhoods could be achieved by other means instead of GSI-tracking data. Jensen notes short-term rentals are primarily in heritage neighborhoods.

At-large Councilmember Zachary Oyler doesn’t want the council to defer discussion.

“My intent on these specific deferrals to vote no because I think someone has to speak on behalf of those that we asked to follow the process and put the special use application in and do the right thing [as] oppose to those who are not,” Oyler said.

STR’s will extend their stay with measures appearing on the October 12th meeting agenda.

Census redistricting committee deferred too

Council members received a presentation on 2020 Census data numbers - the city of Peoria’s population is 113,150 marking a 1.6% decrease from 2010.

City Manager Patrick Urich says with the new Census numbers the districts will need to adapt.

“If we are going to continue with five districts they need to be roughly proportionate in size from a population standpoint which would be about 22,630 residents per district,” Urich said.

District 1 - Needs to expand by 3,938 people.

District 2 - Needs to expand by 1,555 people.

District 3 - Needs to expand by 1,113 people.

District 4 - Needs to contract by 1,329 people.

District 5 - Needs to contract by 5,568 people.

Now, an ad-hoc committee, the Redistricting Committee, will reconfigure the current five districts in Peoria.

Mayor Rita Ali and the five district-seated council members will have open meetings where at-large council members can attend, but not vote. Mayor Ali says at-large council members will have a final vote as a full council.

“Also this assumes the council is interested in maintaining five at-large council seats and five district council seats,” Mayor Ali said. “This ad-hoc committee kind of makes that assumption we’re looking to move forward in a similar format.”

Council members are concerned if Bradley students were effectively counted leading to an idea of calling a special census. Corporation Counsel Chrissie Kapustka says only if somehow thousands of students were missing from official counts.

“Any community in mid-Census, generally seen them done five years in where they believe a substantial population increase… they can ask and request and bear the expense of a special census,” Corporation Counsel Kapustka said. “We do need to be mindful that Bradley students weren’t maybe counted at this location last year doesn’t mean they weren’t counted at all. They were probably counted at I assume their place of residence where they reside the rest of the year.”

The council deferred all district-seated appointments until October 26th so they can discuss committee procedures a little longer.

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Brady Johnson is a correspondent at WCBU. He can be reached at bradyjohnson383@gmail.com.