There’s a lot going on this week with the short-term rental issue and the Michigan Municipal League needs your help with two bills likely to go for a vote in legislative committees tomorrow – Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
The League hosted an extremely successful news conference on the topic Monday, May 24, that was attended by more than a dozen members of the media and dozens more League supporters and members. You can watch the news conference here and read our press release about it soon on our press release page here. In addition, we launched a new resource page on this issue here, and you can send letters opposed to current legislation here.
The House Commerce and Tourism Committee has posted for tomorrow morning, Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 9 a.m. to hear testimony on House Bill 4722 in Room 327 of the House Office Building. The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee has not yet posted a hearing for tomorrow, but we expect it to. That hearing will be on Senate Bill 446 and likely in the Harry T. Gast Appropriations Room, 3rd Floor of the Capital Building.
In addition, please, please (that’s two ‘pleases’) use the League’s Action Center (click here) to send UPDATED letters opposed to this legislation to these committee members and to your lawmakers in the House and Senate.
Please reach out to both committees, as both bills have committee hearings and each chamber needs to hear our opposition. Make sure to include the committee clerks on all messages, and if you’d like to provide written testimony for the hearing. State you’d like your correspondence included in the official committee record. This is an important step!
House Commerce & Tourism Committee:
- Steve Marino (R) Committee Chair, 24th District
- **John Roth (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 104th District
- Diana Farrington (R), 30 District
- Rodney Wakeman (R), 94th District
- Pauline Wendzel (R), 79th District
- David Martin (R), 48th District
- **Sara Cambensy (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 109th District
- John Cherry (D), 49th District
- Mari Manoogian (D), 40 District
- Karen Whitsett (D), 9th District
- Tullio Liberati (D), 13rd District
- Edward Sleeper, Committee Clerk
Senate Regulatory Reform Committee:
- *Aric Nesbitt (R) Chair
- Lana Theis (R) Majority Vice Chair
- Ruth Johnson (R)
- Dan Lauwers (R)
- Curtis VanderWall (R)
- Dale Zorn (R)
- Jeremy Moss (D) Minority Vice Chair
- Dayna Polehanki (D)
- Paul Wojno (D)
- Mike Sitkauskas, Committee Clerk
* sponsor of the legislation
** cosponsor of the legislation
Background on this issue: Since the popularity of short-term rental websites came on the scene several years ago, Michigan communities have worked hard to come up with reasonable rules and regulations that strike the delicate balance of allowing short-term rentals in ways that keep all property owners in mind. But now, the special interest groups have fought to open the flood gates to short-term vacation rentals in Michigan’s communities and turn our neighborhoods into a series of mini hotels that are only occupied seasonally. Efforts are underway to lobby state lawmakers to go on the side of corporations and big government. This effort strips 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 residents, renters and vacation visitors.
Recent news articles on this topic:
Oakland County Times: Short-Term Rentals Under Debate in Lansing with Local Control at Risk
Michigan Public Radio: State Lawmakers Consider Removing Communities’ Ability to Regulate Vacation Rentals
MIRS News Service: Short-Term Rental Bills Still in Committee … For Now
The League’s Jennifer Rigterink is our main contact on this issue for our members and the media. Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.