38 Cars Neighbor Rents Out Through App Clog North Side Street, Alderman Says

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect comment from a spokeswoman for the TURO app.

It sounds too crazy to be true--or legal.

But it’s all three.

Ask anyone about parking on the 4700 block of North Kenmore Avenue in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Multiple people attempting to park in the area told us that it was taking them 30 to 45 minutes to find a spot because every spot is taken by cars that are part of a resident that rents out cars to people similar to an Airbnb operation.

Ald. James Cappelman, 46th, lives on the same block of Kenmore. Even he had no clue why parking was so ridiculous until residents started complaining and he noticed this.

“We saw many locked boxes with keys and I didn’t know what it was, so thought this is strange," he said.

The man accused of running the operation didn’t answer, but the alderman said he rents around 38 cars to people through an app called TURO, all with legal permits because the city has no limit.

Turo's vice president and head of government relations told NBC 5 in a statement there are no vehicles associated with the app parked on the 4700 block of North Kenmore Avenue.

"The NBC reporting is inaccurate," Michelle M. Peacock said in a statement. "These parking issues were addressed months ago and there are no cars associated with Turo parked on that street. However, several cars identified yesterday were parked with no parking zone sticker or the wrong sticker. The Alderman can simply solve this problem by enforcing existing parking regulations with a single call to have these cars ticketed and towed."

For a year the alderman says he’s been trying to write a city ordinance regulating this kind of operation.

"I would not allow to have one person 38 cars in an area that has permit parking," Cappleman said.

But he was told the state would first have to pass legislation. It did and Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it.

Some believe the alderman’s effort has caused the rental operation to downsize on Kenmore and move here to Winthrop Avenue, the next street to the west.

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