Local crackdowns on short-term housing rentals, like we’ve seen in St. Joseph and South Haven, have ignited a fight in Michigan’s Capitol. Homeowners and lobbyists are now lining up for and against legislation that would allow the rentals in all residential zones and prohibit treating them differently through zoning. The bills are being pushed by the Michigan Realtors group, which accuses municipalities of trampling on property rights with overly restrictive and unfair rules. On the other side are lodging, tourism and local officials who worry about the unrestrained growth of short-term vacation rentals through online platforms such as Airbnb. Supporters and opponents are mobilizing ahead of potential legislative hearings this fall. The Realtors has run one-minute radio ads across the state. Tourism and local leaders held a news conference in recent days to express their “deep concerns” with the legislation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report