It's hard to imagine a less progressive ordinance in a progressive city. Many (if not most) of the most impactful benefits of STRs are from dedicated locations. You cannot have a family from the hospital stay for months in an owner-occupied unit, or a person self-quarantine themselves with limited contact, or a couple on a budget looking to stay in downtown Ann Arbor. This ordinance, which effectively bans 99% of full-time STRs - even those located downtown - will tint how every single person coming to Ann Arbor and looking to stay at an STR sees the city. It will tint how every person they are coming to visit sees the city. I sincerely hope the council will consider adjustments to the Ordinance.
The comments below indicate good reasons to be careful in framing the regulation, and good reasons to consider postponing the imposition of new regulation until we are through the COVID crisis. But I still support a regulation that discourages or bans most forms of non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. The use of housing stock, by non-residents, as a form of investment drives up the cost of housing (both for those looking to purchase homes and for rentals) for all the rest of us. Many of the visitors who like to rent short-term can meet their needs in an owner-occupied rental.
I live out-of-state but my family and I visit Ann Arbor (AA) often. We stay for 2 plus weeks and will only rent an Airbnb. An Airbnb gives us the feeling of being part of the community, that home-like feeling. Hotels don’t provide that. Hotels are inconvenient, cramped, noisy, depressing. We prefer a non-occupied Airbnb but have stayed in owner occupied. Non-occupied Airbnb provides peace of mind (COVID-19), privacy and a quiet home-like environment, a friendly place to stay. Fewer Airbnb choices will end our visits to AA.
As written, this ordinance truly represents peak Ann Arbor NIMBY-ism all under the guise of “maintaining neighborhood and community character”. The banning of Non-owner occupied STRs throughout most the city severely harms the rights of property owners and limits options for this city’s many visitors - especially without an option of grandfathering responsible STR hosts. Many prefer the comfort and privacy non-owner occupied STRs have to offer. A more responsible, and simplified STR regulation that focuses on registration/licensing and cracking down on problematic properties would have near universal support, and can achieved without the blanket banning of certain STR types. Also, why has City Staff circumvented both the Planning Commission, which regulates of property land use, and the Housing Code, which regulates rentals within the City, on an issue they purport to be based on zoning and housing? The specifics of this overly punitive ordinance need to be reconsidered.
This ordinance is a violation of homeowner rights and should not be allowed to pass. The city has produced no data that shows Non-principal Residence Short-term Rentals are a nuisance to our community. Register STRs - no problem. Regularly inspect properties just like traditional rentals, absolutely. Require a registration fee, sure. Rationally use this information in the future to make informed decisions that deeply impact the rights of property owners, yes! Families from all over love visiting our city and their preferred lodging are STRs - just like all Ann Arborites when they travel (including councilmembers). A move to ban Non-principal Residence Short-term Rentals only hurts our community socially and economically.
I strongly oppose C-3 20-1042 for a number of reasons but mainly due to its racist nature. The purpose of this ordinance is for “maintaining neighborhood and community character.” The US Census data shows Ann Arbor to be primarily white, affluent, and highly educated. The ordinance language therefore implies that a guest who has a different culture from our neighbors would not be welcome. This is a racist policy. This ordinance tries to parade itself as protecting guests along with residents by ensuring “health, safety, and welfare … by re-affirming police, fire, and building safety guidelines.” However the true history behind why this ordinance was called for is due to fears of the neighborhoods changing, becoming influenced by those who may be different from us. Removing the option of STRs not only further discriminates against those who aren’t of the same population but it eliminates the exposures of the Ann Arbor neighborhoods to these different cultures. This is racism.
I am U of M graduate with a phD in chemistry. I love Ann Arbor and the Univ of Michigan. I own several STRs in Ann Arbor.
The benefits of STRs has never been more clear than during the pandemic.
We hosted front line medical workers from out of town
We hosted front line medical workers from Ann Arbor who wanted to distance from their families
We hosted people who came back to A2 to be with their family and needed to quarantine or distance
We hosted international students who could not return home.
We never turned anyone down due to cost
The we are humbled to provide a home for these people during a difficult time. Going forward the needs to separate and will not go away. We are in the middle of a pandemic. A hotel is not a home. We provide a home for people who's lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.
This is not the time to consider this ordinance. The availability of STRs is a critical component of helping people manage their lives when the world has turned upside down
It does not appear that this ordinance will take away peoples rights to be an AirBnB or other short term rental....it does however create a record of these types of properties and does not allow someone renting to then lease out short term ......I would like to know more about the fee structure before I decide on support.
Short term rentals are essential to the health of the Ann Arbor community. Hundreds of people utilize them each year as a more affordable option to visit the university, the hospital, their family, go to football games, and dozens of other reasons. There simply isn't the hotel capacity to accommodate the number of visitors who come to this city. Since the pandemic, STRs have become even more crucial. Many people have decided to or have been forced to stay here longer term due to health and travel risks. Most don't have the financial means to commit to a year+ long lease and understandably feel unsafe staying in a hotel. This ordinance unfairly punishes both primary residence and non-owner occupied hosts, students, medical professionals, families, and everyone who lives in or visits Ann Arbor.
We love visiting A2, and always stay in an STR in one of A2's beautiful neighborhoods. We love enjoying all that A2 has to offer and then coming “home” at night where we can relax and get a good night’s sleep without hotel traffic/noise. We like to go to the farmer’s market and use the kitchen or go to restaurants and bring home leftovers, all things you can’t do in a hotel. Think of those who travel for medical care and need a quiet place to stay with family. We’ve looked at hotels in A2 and they were unappealing/unaffordable. We are good, quiet neighbors who respect rules. We’ve been lucky to have great hosts who love A2 and take good care of their properties. I’m sure there are nuisance STRs, but that’s where simple regulations would be helpful to shut down problem properties. Please don’t punish good hosts (both Primary Residence & Non-Owner Occupied hosts) and don’t punish people who love visiting and spending $ in A2 by taking away so many great alternative lodging options.
This is just one more way to stifle the economy from recovering and preventing non owner occupied from using an asset to generate income. If you prevent this kind of short term housing, you need to restrict the rental of hotel rooms which are essentially the same thing. Owners will not knowingly rent their places to invite COVID infection...in contrast they will probably be even more careful and prudent about vetting potential renters. Also, short term rentals like this are helpful to people who come into town for extended medical treatments a the hospital, or for students and grad students who have a short term monthly need and cannot afford to commit to an annual lease.
1. The # of houses in AA that are non-owner occupied STR is tiny and the cause of the high cost of housing in AA!
2. Many families look for NON-Owner occupied, STRs during our travel for critical reasons. In our case, my son's deathly allergy to nuts, which means we need to make his meals during our travels. Non-owner occupied STR accommodation is our only option. For families that utilize UM hospitals from afar, this is also the case for many of them. The AA ordinance would eliminate this opportunity, forcing many of these families to hotels that are not close to the hospital.
3. Non-owner occupied STRs have been lifesaving during the COVID19 pandemic. Most have helped individuals and health care workers needing to quarantine from their families. Again, the new ordinance set to pass in the middle of a pandemic will take this option away!
5. STRs close to the city center bring revenue to our downtown restaurants and shops due to these businesses being within walking distance.
This ordinance discriminates against residents and property owners who have been following all the rules for renting their homes. Separately, please think about all the families with loved ones in the U.M. hospital who can't afford to stay at a hotel, eat out, pay for parking, and deal with tons of people every night. Non-Principal Residence Short-Term rentals offer a home-away-from-home for people who, in many cases, desperately need it. Please oppose this ordinance which will rip that option away from families who need a place of refuge in our beautiful city.