Short-term rentals back up for debate in Holland

Holland rental rules

HOLLAND, MICH. - The idea of short-term rentals is back on the table in Holland. Short-term rentals are anything rented for less than 30 days.

Right now, home owners can rent a room for however long or short but the owner has to be present, but a study session scheduled for Wednesday may be the first step in changing that.

The Planning Commission is asking the City Council to allow something very specific: a short-term rental in business areas (like above bars or restaurants) when the owner is not there. But short-term rentals would not be allowed in residential neighborhoods.

Elaine Page, is a Holland native who used to rent her home short-term before she knew it was illegal.

"I pay my annual dues, I do inspections as well so I figured I was on the up and up. I just missed that fine print that says you can't rent for less than 30 days," Page said. 

The local business owner has been pushing to get rental regulations relaxed so she could start renting her Central Avenue home for short periods of time again.

"We provide a niche you know someone who doesn’t want to stay at a hotel that might not be staying for 30 days, but might be here for two weeks and they want the comforts of home," she said. 

City Council Member Jay Peters voted against short term rentals last year, but after doing a little more research and visiting some of the local short term rental homes, he reconsidered. 

"I think there's a way for us to do it and do it well and reap all the benefits," Peters told WZZM 13 over the phone on Tuesday. 

Like Page, Peters feels short-term rentals should be regulated but allowed in all neighborhoods, not just commercial areas.  At a City Council study session scheduled for Wednesday, he hopes to prove that.

"I guess I want to see if I can find five votes to go back to the planning commission or go back to the city staff and go, 'Look we're a 21st century city, we're going to move forward here,'" Peters said. 

That study session starts at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, it is open to the public. They will not be voting on anything just yet just having a discussion. 

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