Planning Commission OKs looking into amending short-term rental restrictions

March 8, 2019 GMT

The issue of possibly amending the City of Ludington’s zoning restriction on short-term rentals within the downtown area has advanced to the next step in the municipal government’s long evaluation process.

Ludington’s City Code restricts rental stays of less than 28 days to only be allowed in traditional vacation rental units — specifically hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels and condos.

This places an obstacle in the way of anyone wishing to short-term rent their property using popular websites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway, which collect fees for connecting property owners with vacationers looking to rent somewhere other than a hotel room or other traditional rental.

Landlord Ryan Reed has been urging the city government to amend the ordinance to allow for short-term rentals to be permitted within the Downtown Development Authority area, which includes the zoning districts of central business and maritime commercial.

“The DDA is a specific area set out to adopt certain policies that promote economic growth. I think one of the hard things for most of us in this area to wrap our minds around is how this ordinance of no short-term rentals, outside of these few exemptions, is actually benefitting businesses in our downtown? I think it’s probably throttling back … the vast majority of those businesses,” Reed told the Ludington Planning Commission during a meeting Wednesday.

After much discussion, the Planning Commission Wednesday voted to recommend the commission’s Text Committee examine the topic of short-term rentals as well as the potential of amending the ordinance for the downtown area.

To read the full story, check out the print or E-edition of Friday’s Ludington Daily News.