Possible Change Coming To Tourist Homes In Traverse City

A change allowing you to rent out rooms in your home, could be coming to Traverse City.

The Housing and Building Committee met Thursday to discuss a zoning ordinance put in place back in the 90’s.

“This was really an effort to hopefully bring our ordinance back into the 21st Century and give people the ability to use their home as they like,” said Brian Haas, city commissioner.

Some people in Traverse City would like to be able to rent out a room in their house, on a day to day basis.

“Right now we don’t allow that in the city, we do allow tourist homes, which is more like a traditional Bed and Breakfast,” said Haas.

Some city commissioners believe there would be benefits to allowing single room rentals.

“The current ordinance I think has worked well for that but it’s not really reflective of how society is working right now,” said Haas. “I think this would just allow people a little more flexibility on how they use their homes and without concern about breaking any laws in the city.”

However, there are concerns about neighborhoods becoming commercialized, as well as the ongoing issue of workforce housing.

“Every time we take a room off the market, it drives up the cost for those who are trying to live here year round,” said Trevor Tkach, President and CEO of Traverse City Tourism.

As well as being fair to hotels and other vacation properties that pay taxes.

“We want to be a year round destination not just for tourism but for business in general so we need to think big picture long term, on how we can sustain the hotel facilities that we have and lodging facilities that we have so that we can do business here, not just tourism business, but good business for economic development long term,” said Tkach.

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