House Bill 4722, as it passed the House, would amend the Zoning Enabling Act to prohibit a county, township, city, or village from adopting or enforcing zoning ordinance provisions that have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals. The bill would provide that the rental of a dwelling is a permitted residential (and not commercial) use of property that is not subject to special permits or procedures. A local government could adopt certain specified zoning ordinances and practices if consistently applied to rentals and other residences. Within parameters described below, a local government could limit the number of short-term rentals owned by the same person and limit the total number of short-term rentals as a percentage of all residences. The bill also would allow the continued enforcement of certain ordinance provisions in existence on July 11, 2019.
Specifically, under the bill all of the following would apply, for purposes of zoning, to the
rental of a dwelling, including a short-term rental:
It is a residential use of property and a permitted use in all residential zones.
It is not subject to a special use or conditional use permit or procedure different from those required for other dwellings in the same zone.
It is not a commercial use of property.
Short-term rental would mean the rental, for up to 30 consecutive days, of a single-family residence, a dwelling unit in a one-to-four family house, or a unit or group of units in a condominium.
A county, township, city, or village would be prohibited from adopting or enforcing zoning
ordinance provisions that have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals. However, the bill would expressly not prohibit a zoning ordinance provision that is applied on a consistent basis to rental and owner-occupied residences and regulates any of the following:
Any other conditions that may create a nuisance
The bill also would expressly not prohibit a county, township, city, or village from doing either of the following:
Inspecting a residence for compliance with or enforcement of an ordinance that is not a zoning ordinance, that is for the protection of public health and safety, and that does not have the effect of prohibiting short-term rentals
Collecting taxes otherwise authorized by law
However, a local government could limit the number of dwelling units in its jurisdiction that
are used for short-term ownership and are owned in whole or in part by the same individual or individuals or legal entity—as long as that limit is not less than two units. (A unit of government does not have to limit the number of units owned OR they can choose a higher limit number, e.g., 10 per person or legal entity.)
A local government also could limit the total number of dwelling units used for short-term
rental in its jurisdiction—as long as that limit is not less than 30% of the number of existing
residential units and as long as it applies without regard to the location of the dwelling units. (In most cases, 30% of the local total housing is a huge number and not likely to restrict STR in any meaningful way.)
Finally, the bill would provide that a county, township, city, or village that, as of July 11, 2019, had zoning ordinance provisions that regulate the rental of dwellings by overlay district without distinction between short-term rental and rental for longer terms, and that, as of July 11, 2019, had a rental overlay district or districts that were initiated by petition, could continue to enforce those zoning ordinance provisions as they existed on July 11, 2019. The local government could revise existing overlay district boundaries or create new overlay districts, but only under the terms of the zoning ordinance provisions as they existed on July 11, 2019.
The RPOA-M supports the bill, and the Senate is expected to pass the bill—perhaps with modifications. However, it is unknown at this time what Governor Whitmer’s stance is on the bill and whether or not she would sign it. There is some discussion that no action will be taken on this bill if another bill creating a new excise tax on short-term rentals does not pass.