City sets second short-term rental meeting

Alex Doty • Mar 1, 2017 at 12:30 PM

The Grand Haven Planning Commission has scheduled its next meeting to discuss the proposed new rules for regulating short-term rentals in the city.

The meeting will occur at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave. 

The meeting takes place just over a week after the city hosted a public hearing with the Planning Commission to discuss the short-term rental ordinance update. More than 100 people attended last week’s hearing to listen and give comment, forcing the proceedings to move from City Hall to the Community Center mid-meeting.

Grand Haven Community Development Manager Jennifer Howland noted that the city continues to receive comments about short-term rentals.

“Since the last packet went out for the meeting on the 21st, I’ve received 11 written comments — mostly from email,” she said. “I’m slowly getting more.”

Last week’s public hearing featured residents speaking both in support and against the proposed new regulations. Howland said it will be up to the Planning Commission chairperson to determine if the city will accept additional public comments.

The proposal under consideration by the commission comes out of discussions from the city’s Short-term Rental Housing Committee and was drafted by the city's attorney.

Howland said any decision made by the commission will be a recommendation to City Council, which would then review and approve the final ordinance update.

The draft ordinance would establish a means of handling nonconforming short-term rentals that were established prior to the new ordinance, as well as a series of special land use regulations that would determine if a short-term rental could be allowed.

The special use regulations include setting minimum lot size standards, rules for what’s allowed on properties, permitting requirements and more.

The draft ordinance would also set in place guidelines for the four affected zoning districts in the city — Dune Residential, North Shore, Old Town and Southside. The final recommendation from the Planning Commission will be one option per district. 

Earlier this year, City Council set a date of April 17 for when it would like to see a draft amendment from the Planning Commission.

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