HAMMOND — While Airbnb properties have been a modern-day go-to for thrifty travelers, one Airbnb destination has become the center of controversy for a Northwest Indiana city.
A Hammond address that started as the subject of neighborhood complaints has progressed into a hashtag, #2030Stanton, on the Hammond mayor's Facebook page.
On Tuesday, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., posted an announcement saying a lawsuit against the homeowner of 2030 Stanton Avenue in Hammond's Roberstdale neighborhood is underway.
The single-family, two-story house has been converted to allegedly board as many as 62 lodgers per night, Hammond's attorneys wrote in a court document.
On Monday, Hammond city attorneys filed a summons, delivered by the Lake County Sheriff's Department, to the property owner of 2030 Stanton Ave., which is located in Hammond but has a Whiting address.
The homeowner has a 20-day window of time to respond to the notice, or the judge will rule in favor of the city of Hammond and the owner will have to cease using the property for commercial lodging, according to court documents.
With the potential of 62 boarders in a single-family dwelling, safety hazards also arise, City Attorney David Westland said.
"There are fire hazards, parking issues and general safety concerns when it comes to this situation," Westland said.
The initial letter, on April 5, from the city attorney to the homeowner said that if they do not cease selling short-term lodging at their residence by April 12, a lawsuit would be initiated.
The homeowner did not respond to the attorney and is allegedly continuing to use the house as an Airbnb, court documents state.
The neighborhood is zoned as R-1U, meaning the residence cannot operate as a short-term lodging facility or be rented through Airbnb, according to the legal notice. The city has also issued multiple citations for parking and excess garbage violations, the attorney wrote.
The Hammond Police Department has used a substantial amount of resources responding to complaints that include alleged criminal activity, court documents said. That is why the city is also seeking monetary damages, Westland said.
Since March, police have received a dozen calls that include parking complaints, theft and narcotics reports allegedly connected to the Stanton Avenue home, Hammond Lt. Steve Kellogg said.
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