Traverse City Commissioners Adopt Resolution Regarding Short Term Rentals

“We’re so short supply of that, I think that this would hurt Traverse City,” said Russ Soyring, Planning Director for Traverse City.

Traverse City commissioners are trying to keep the control of short term rentals in the hands of local government.

A new state law could give the state the ability to control short term rentals.

Monday night commissioners adopted a resolution to oppose it.

Right now, local government controls short term rentals and they don’t allow them in residential areas.

Allowing them throughout the city could mean taking away long term rentals for other people.

“Local control is better than to have the state telling us how we could control Airbnb’s,” said Soyring.

Short term rentals have become more popular in cities throughout the state and in some cities, like Traverse City, they are not allowed in residential zoned areas.

“We do allow for Airbnb’s in the downtown and commercial areas so if you have a home that’s in an area that’s zoned commercial, you can have an Airbnb there,” said Soyring.

A new state law could change that by allowing the state to regulate short term rentals, rather than local governments, which could allow the rentals anywhere in the city.

“The bill would say that the local units of government could not regulate short term rentals, they would be treated like a residential use,” said Soyring. “That means that every home, all 6,000 homes in Traverse City, could be a short term rental.”

Traverse City staff believe short term rentals should stay out of residential areas and Monday night, city commissioners adopted a resolution to oppose the state law.

“It’s kind of eroding some of the local control and I think local control is very important here because every community is going to be a little different and Traverse City has its own unique types of stresses and needs and I think we really need to have full time, residential living in town,” said Soyring.

The resolution will now head to the state, with hopes the potential law will not pass.

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