Sault Ste. Marie Expresses Opposition to Short-Term Rental Legislation

 

Sault Ste. Marie is the most recent city taking a stand against a package of bills in Lansing regarding short term rentals.

The city says the bills would directly affect their tourism economy and give the state more power than local governments.

Like other cities in Northern Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie says if this bill is passed it will prevent them from making decisions that directly affect their community.

“The legislation was drafted to essentially take away the local input on short term rentals,” Sault Ste. Marie City Manager Oliver Turner, said.

Turner says if passed, House Bill 4503 and Senate Bill 329 would prevent citizens from having a say in short term rental decisions.

“From a perspective of maintaining citizen input and community  input into the zoning process, that’s something that we will continue to advocate for and we believe our citizens should have a voice in the process,” Turner, explained.

The legislation introduced in April, would allow landlords to adjust lease agreements every 28 days.

It would also allow short term rental units to be treated as residential regardless of local law.

“We do have regulations that govern rentals and non-owner occupied units, this legislation would also undermine those types of regulations that are adopted with input of community and citizens,” Turner, added.

Tourism bureaus across Northern Michigan are also against the bill, they say giving free reign to leasers will damage their industry.

“Its unfair competition, bottom-line. Tourism bureaus are funded through every hotel room that is sold, we get a percentage on top for every hotel, and we do the marketing for the area. They don’t have to be a part of that,” Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Linda Hoath, explained.

As it stands right now, state lawmakers that represent the Sault told the city they have concerns with the bill in its present form.