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Monthly Archives

October 2022

Legislation Intended to Eliminate the Authority of Local Units of Government to Make Decisions Regarding Sand and Gravel Mining Operations and Short-term Vacation Rentals Still Under Consideration by the MI Legislature

Legislation intended to effectively eliminate the authority of local units of government in Michigan to approve, deny, and/or to otherwise regulate sand and gravel mining operations and short-term vacation rentals may be up for consideration by the Michigan legislature in the upcoming post-election legislative session.

Legislation intended to eliminate the authority of local units of government to approve, deny, and/or to otherwise regulate sand and gravel mining in the form of Senate Bills 429430 and 431 have already passed the MI Senate, and could be taken up by the MI House of Representatives at any point during the remainder of the current legislative session. If passed by both the MI Senate and MI House, and signed by the Governor, the legislation would eliminate local jurisdiction over the issuance of a permit, or authority to regulate the location and operation of aggregate mines. The bill would also place sole authority for the approval and regulation of sand and gravel mines with the State of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Environment (EGLE). Moreover, the legislation would not permit EGLE to deny an application, and would also not require that a public meeting be conducted in order to gather input from the citizens of impacted communities.

Legislation that would effectively eliminate the authority of local units of government, including township and county governments, to regulate short term rentals in the form of HB 4722 which has already passed the MI House of Representatives would, if passed by the MI Senate and signed by the Governor, amend the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to establish the rental of a dwelling—including, but not limited to, short-term rentals—to be a residential use of property that is permitted in all residential zoning districts, and would not to be considered a commercial use or subject to any permit requirements different from those applicable to other dwellings in the same zone. The bill would not, however, prohibit the passage of local zoning ordinances intended to regulate noise, advertising, traffic, or other nuisances related to the rental of a dwelling, but only if such regulations are applied consistently to owner-occupied residences.

Michigan Waterfront Alliance is committed to the idea that local units of government, with input from local citizens, should maintain the ultimate authority to approve, deny, and/or to otherwise regulate sand and gravel mines, and to pass ordinances intended to establish local policy in regard to short term vacation rentals.

To find your MI State Senator, and their contact information, click here

To find your MI State Representative, and their contact information, click here

State Senate Pondering Passage of Controversial MI House Passed Short-term Rental Enabling Legislation

MI House Bill 4722 Currently Being Hotly Debated in the Michigan Senate

by Scott Brown

Representing the continuation of an intense discussion that has been on-going in our state capitol for well over a year, advocates representing local units of government and Michigan’s powerful real estate industry have thus far failed to reach a compromise in regards to controversial short-term rental property targeted legislation that was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives in October of 2021.

The debate in Lansing over how to regulate the steadily increasing number of homes listed on popular sites like Airbnb and Vrbo comes as many Michigan property owners, particularly those with homes located in popular lakeshore communities, have earned a substantial amount of money in recent years while serving as increasingly popular alternatives to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast sites.

The bill currently being debated in the Michigan Senate is House Bill 4722 that passed after an extended period of intense debate in the Michigan House of Representatives last year. The legislation acts to designate short-term rentals as residential properties that are exempt from special or conditional use permitting. House Bill 4722 is now being considered by the MI Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform 

It is important to point out that although the bill is very popular with Michigan’s real estate industry the controversial legislation is adamantly opposed by several state associations and organizations, including Michigan Townships Association, and the Michigan Municipal League.

Following the lead of the Michigan Association of Realtors, for example, the Grand Haven-based West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors (WMLAR) strongly supports passage of the bill.

Michigan Waterfront Alliance would like the readers of this e-newsletter to know that we are firmly committed to the idea that all decisions regarding short-term rental policy within a particular community should made at the local level by local officials, and is therefore adamantly opposed to House Bill 4722 becoming state law. Our readers should also know that Michigan Waterfront Alliance will direct its Lansing-based lobbying firm,- Karoub Associates – to pro-actively lobby members of the Michigan state senate against passage of this unfair legislation.

Michigan Waterfront Alliance would also encourage our readers to contact their respective state senator in regards to this important statewide issue.

As currently written, Michigan House Bill 4722 has four main components that would act to:

  • Bar local governments from enacting or enforcing ordinances that would place an outright ban on short-term rentals;
  • Limit the total number of short-term rentals to 30 percent of all residential units;
  • Allow local governments to continue to have the authority to limit an owner or ownership group to two short-term rental properties;
  • Allow local units of government to regulate and inspect short-term rental units for noise, advertising, traffic, or other disruptive conditions.

Click here to read a summary of MI House Bill 4722 as passed by the MI House of Representatives.

To find your MI State Senator, and their contact information, click here