2017 was a long year for Roger Jonas. The Ferrysburg Planning Commissioner spent most of it taking on a hot topic in lakeshore communities, short-term rentals

"It's a difficult issue to understand unless you've spent a year at it, and then you get very involved," Jonas said.

Jonas says the city decided to make changes after seeing other cities like Holland and Grand Haven adjust their own thanks to websites like Airbnb hitting the scene.

Related: Holland leaders consider loosening rules to welcome Airbnb

"We wanted to tailor something that was unique to our city as opposed to cut and paste."

So what's different this year?

  • For short-term rentals, the minimum amount of days you can rent out is seven. Putting the kibosh on any one-night stays.
  • Owners are required to register their rental homes each year.
  • The registration fee has now doubled from $25 to $50
  • Fines have also hiked from $50 to $100

Though its been a while since Ferryburg has made any changes, Jonas is confident that the transition will be smooth. After all, he says all the decisions were made with the residents in mind.

Related: Grand Haven Planning Commission working on short-term rental regulations

"Health, safety, and welfare you look at those three things, why does government exist? For the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and we base our decisions on those three criteria," he said.

Jonas said he's not sure how many rentals will be impacts the minimum seven-day stay, but if any issues arise from it, they'll address them as they come.

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