Debate in Saint-Joseph on changes to short-term rental rules

ST. JOSEPH, Michigan — There’s a debate in St. Joseph over the use of short-term rentals, after a new bill introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives would remove most municipal controls on its distinctions from zoning.

Currently, short-term rental permits are granted to landlords in the city based on zoning and are only available in multi-family and waterfront neighborhoods, for a total of 43 rental properties.

An example, the stretch of houses along Silver Beach – but a few hundred yards further the rules change.

“South of there you come across the homes between Silver Beach and Lions Beach, there are rentals in that area but we stopped new inquiries about 14 years ago due to neighbor concerns,” the mayor said. Mike Garey.

But if House Bill 4722 Eventually, it would remove this specific zoning power from cities and allow homeowners in every part of the city to apply for a permit, in addition to allowing them to rent their homes on short notice.

“We believe that short-term rentals are a property right and if a house can be rented out and there is income, that obviously makes ownership more profitable,” said Alan Jeffries, director of the association at the Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors.

The Southwest Michigan Association of Realtors says it’s not only good for the homeowner, but also for St. Joe’s economy, providing more tourism that could lead to full-time residents.

“They’re a great opportunity for people to come to an area, rent a house on Lake Michigan and see what the area is like, you just don’t get that feel in a hotel,” Jeffries said.

But the city says that just hasn’t been the trend in other areas and that it needs to prioritize the concerns of current residents.

“All of a sudden your town is consumed more by people who don’t live here year-round, and then you don’t have families going to your local schools, you lose that generation of people to go back to your community. , plus , it’s a commercial enterprise, so you have fewer homes for a person to choose from and at a higher cost,” Mayor Garey said.

The bill would still allow municipalities to continue to regulate parking, occupancy and noise for rentals.

Comments are closed.