Holland-area officials concerned over bill to check Airbnb, Vrbo regulation


HOLLAND — The Michigan House of Representatives stayed in session through the early hours of Wednesday morning, passing a bill that local officials say will largely strip communities of their ability to regulate short-term rentals.  

House Bill 4722, introduced by Rep. Sarah Lightner, R-Springport Township, passed 55-48 after the House remained in session past 2 a.m. The bill would prohibit local governments from adopting zoning regulations banning short-term rentals. 

Short-term rentals are properties that are available for tourists and vacationers visiting an area for a brief stay, or not more than 30 days. Popular platforms for the homes include Airbnb and Vrbo.   

HB 4722 would allow limited authority to oversee short-term rentals in some scenarios — including if local noise and traffic ordinances are violated and if the number of occupants in a unit is more than permitted — although this would have to take place on an individual basis for units. 

“A local unit of government shall not adopt or enforce zoning ordinance provisions that have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals,” the bill states. 

The bill is supported by Michigan Realtors, a real-estate advocacy group, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank.  

The Michigan Municipal League is among the groups opposing the bill. Ottawa County has also opposed it.  

More: State bills would take away local control for short-term rentals, prompting local opposition

More: Local groups hoping for ‘compromise’ with Legislature over short-term rental regulation

The bill still has yet to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A Whitmer spokesperson said Wednesday the governor has not made a decision on the bill because it’s still going through the legislative process. 

An amendment offered before Wednesday’s vote would also allow local units to set limits for how many short-term rentals a property owner could operate, with a limit of no fewer than two. Local governments would also be able to set limits on the number of short-term rentals, so long as the limit wasn’t less than 30 percent of existing residential units in a municipality. 

“The measure approved by the House is a solid compromise that provides both certainty for private property owners across the state and flexibility for local municipalities that deserve to have some control over the planning and zoning of their communities,” Lightner said in a statement

“The blanket bans some communities have issued against short-term rentals completely disregard the private property rights of…

Read MoreHolland-area officials concerned over bill to check Airbnb, Vrbo regulation

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