Recently, in Saginaw, a homeowner, claiming to be using her property as a short-term rental, allowed a house party. Reports that nearly 100 people were inside, with another 100 outside. Shots rang out injuring four and murdering one 29-year old.
This legislation would strip away the ability of local governments to manage short-term vacation rentals in their communities. Reasonable regulations, when needed, balance the needs of the local year-round workforce and providing places for visitors to stay.
Local government is best positioned to know the unique needs of their community when discussing zoning issues. Local officials are the decision makers closest to the people. Our local elected leaders are the ones best situated to determine if something needs to be acted upon to maintain the delicate balance between residential and commercial uses, between residents and investment property owners, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of our Chamber Member Businesses and the community.
The proposed legislation declares a short-term rental, for the purposes of zoning, is a residential use and permitted by right in all residential zones. It can’t be subject to a special use or conditional use permit or treated differently than any other dwellings in the zone. It also states, it is not a commercial use of property.
- This strips away all ability for a community to try and balance the housing needs of their residents and businesses, with those visitors.
- The place where someone lives is a residential use. Someone/corporation buying up residential dwellings to run vacation rental businesses is a commercial use.
- A short-term rental is defined as a lease less than 30 consecutive days.
- This definition does not accurately reflect the nature of a short-term vacation rental stay. Typically, a vacation rental is 2-14 days.
- It is important to remember, this bill is referring to short-term vacation rentals, not temporary housing, or corporate housing.
The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce opposes Senate Bill 446 and House Bill 4722 and believe that local communities should have the authority to determine whether it is appropriate for short-term rentals.
Veronica Horn, President, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce