Michigan Township Association

Bills seek to eliminate zoning authority over short-term rentals

Protect your township’s ability to zone for short-term rentals—tell your lawmakers to oppose harmful preemption bills!

Local governments count on zoning to shape their communities and preserve the quality of life so important to their residents. Two bills—House Bill 4722 and Senate Bill 446—would eliminate your township’s ability to do so. The bills will preempt your township’s local zoning authority to regulate short-term rentals.

MTA needs you to contact your state lawmakers to share your opposition to House Bill 4722 and Senate Bill 446 preempting local zoning on rental properties in residential zones.

Many communities across the state have enacted regulations to address detrimental impacts short-term rentals have had on the quality of life in neighborhoods. Each community has accomplished this in a manner that best meets the needs of residents and short-term rentals. These local efforts should not be undermined and replaced with a one-size-fits-all approach from the state.

The legislation threatens the ability for local municipalities to manage the number and location of rentals across Michigan, undermining local control and upsetting the delicate balance between property rights and the established, transparent process for local decision-making.

The legislation would create a new statewide zoning requirement—thereby eliminating a township’s ability to regulate any issues with nonowner-occupied residences rented on a short-term basis UNLESS the same regulations are applied equally to all owner-occupied residences.

The legislation will also affect the quality of life for residents living near a short-term rental—negatively impacting their property rights.

Further, rental properties would no longer have to abide by local regulation—such as inspections and licensing—unless the same requirements are applied to all owner-occupied residential property as well.

Many times, commercial interests purchase multiple homes in a community for the sole purpose of renting them on a short-term basis—daily, weekly or monthly—with no intent for the owner to ever occupy the residential property. MTA believes locally elected township boards are best positioned to balance the unique needs of their community when addressing zoning issues and to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents, vacation visitors and renters.

MTA needs you to contact your lawmakers to voice opposition to this attack on local decision-making. The bills do not include any compromises local government groups have proposed to address concerns raised by proponents of the legislation.