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Oppose SB 446 Going to Senate Regulatory Reform Committee Wednesday Morning

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Dene Westbrook

UPDATE: There remains a lot going on this week with the short-term rental issue and the Michigan Municipal League needs your help with two bills pending in the legislature.

Here’s the latest: A substitute version of HB 4722 was voted out of the House Commerce and Tourism Committee Tuesday morning and now heads to the full House for a vote. A hearing on SB 446 is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, before the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. We expect the same substitute to be presented and adopted for SB 446 as was adopted for HB 4722. The substitute language attempts to address concerns regarding rental inspections having to be applied on a consistent basis to rentals and owner-occupied residential dwellings. Unfortunately, it does not address the major concerns raised by the Michigan Municipal League and other opponents to these bills. Our concerns to this legislation remains unchanged and we strongly encourage our members to reach out to the Senate Committee and their House and Senate representatives today opposing both bills.

Earlier this week, 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.

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 the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee members and to your lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Senate Regulatory Reform Committee:

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 jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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