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

By October 20, 2022 News

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.

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