City to review short-term rental rule change Monday

Alex Doty • Apr 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Grand Haven City Council is expected to have its first official look next week at revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance rules pertaining to short-term rentals.

Ordinance revisions are scheduled for a first reading at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The City Council meeting will take place at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave. The meeting has been moved from City Hall ahead of Monday night’s meeting in anticipation of a large crowd.

During a recent City Council work session, Grand Haven Community Development Manager Jennifer Howland walked council through the draft ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission. The commission recommends that short-term rentals be allowed in the city’s Dune Residential, North Shore and Old Towne districts as special land uses, and that no new short-term rentals be allowed in the Southside district.

The draft also establishes 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.

During the recent work session, council said they wanted to see more in the special land use regulations that would give city residents an opportunity to have more of a say in whether new short-term rental applications were approved.

As written, a short-term rental request would need to be granted in a district if it met all the special use requirements, regardless of public comment to the Planning Commission.

Council also made tweaks to recommendations regarding some of the zoning districts.


The Planning Commission voted 5-4 to recommend to council that no new short-term rentals be allowed here.

City Council discussed a change for this district that would limit new short-term rentals to key street segments — Franklin Avenue from Harbor Drive to Eighth Street; and Third, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth streets between Franklin and Clinton Street.

Old Towne

Planners recommended by a 6-3 vote that short-term rentals be allowed in the Old Towne neighborhood as a special use; however, like the Southside district, council noted that Old Towne should only include new short-term rentals on key street segments.

The key street segments of Old Towne include Adams and Jackson streets, Fulton from First to Third, Columbus from Second to Third, Second from Columbus to Fulton, and Third from Columbus to Fulton.

North Shore

While the Planning Commission recommended to City Council by a 5-4 vote to allow short-term rentals here as a special land use, council members discussed prohibiting additional short-term rentals in this district.

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