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A map to short-term rental changes

Alex Doty • Apr 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Grand Haven’s year-long discussion about short-term rentals in the city could culminate Monday night with a final vote on new rules.

“We’ve gotten hundreds of comments and had dozens of meetings,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “I think City Council has listened and heard everyone.”

Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 519 Washington Ave., to discuss the ordinance during its regular meeting. The potential vote follows an April 10 meeting in which council approved the introductory reading of the new rules.

“We’re hoping that council does their final vote and puts this thing to bed,” McGinnis said.

New short-term rental rules would update regulations for the North Shore, Dune Residential, Southside and Old Towne districts. If approved by council, the new rules would go into effect 21 days later.

City Council implemented a short-term rental moratorium in October 2016, which was extended earlier this year to May 1.

“If they take action before May 1, that moratorium continues in place before it goes into effect,” McGinnis said, noting that if no action is taken, he’d ask City Council to extend the moratorium.

Based on the proposed rules, in the North Shore district, no new short-term rentals would be permitted; in the Dune Residential district, new short-term rentals would be permitted as a special use; in the Southside district, new short-term rentals would be permitted on Franklin Avenue, and west of Fifth Street as a special use; and in the Old Towne district, new short-term rentals would be allowed on key street segments as a special use.

During Monday night’s meeting, city staff will propose to council that it considers an alternative definition for "short-term rental" and "rental dwelling.”

In a report to council, city officials say the changes would give long-term rental certificate holders the ability to rent out their dwelling units during Coast Guard Festival week and the week including Independence Day, from Saturday to Saturday.

Based on the revised definition of short-term rental, it would be defined as “a dwelling unit providing temporary accommodations for periods of less than one month. However, a dwelling that is only rented during one or both of the following periods is not considered a short-term rental: (1) the official dates of the Coast Guard Festival, plus the two days preceding and the two days following the official dates; and (2) the week (Saturday to Saturday) in which the Independence Day federal holiday is celebrated.”

The proposed ordinance revisions also establish a means of handling non-conforming short-term rentals that were established prior to the new ordinance, as well as a series of special land use regulations that would help the Planning Commission determine if a short-term rental could be allowed.

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