Seasonal rentals in dispute with the Town Planning Commission | News, Sports, Jobs


Graham Jaehnig / Daily Mining Gazette Calumet, Chairman of the Village Planning Commission, Colleen Kobe, addressed the village council on the issue of the number of short-term rentals, or AirBnBs in the village, for which he does not There is currently no authorization in the zoning ordinance, which means they are operating illegally. One of the problems with them, from a financial perspective, she said, is that they are reducing the number of long-term rental units available in the village, which could be a potential contribution. to the decline of the village’s population.

CALUMET – Short-term rentals (AirBnB) and commercial zoning of marijuana were concerns for the village planning commission at the regular monthly village council meeting on October 19.

Short term rental or “Vacation rental by the owner” The units have become very popular with travelers as unusual alternatives to hotels, Planning Commission chairperson Colleen Kobe told the board, with some apartments in the village already being rented out as AirBnB.

From a zoning perspective, Kobe said, the difference between a guesthouse and an AirBnB is that in a guesthouse, the owner / operator is in the accommodation at the same time as the guest, which doesn’t This is not the case with short term rentals.

“At first, it doesn’t seem very important”, Kobe said, “But it really matters a lot. “

For example, she said, in the village of Calumet, there are people who are already renting apartments and spaces in the downtown area, for vacation rental by the owners. but technically in the current zoning ordinance it is not a permitted use as they are not defined as short term occupancy.

“It really shouldn’t be happening there”, she said, adding that the problem in the village has always been to enforce the ordinances.

The village currently has no police force and neither the county sheriff’s office nor the Michigan State Police will respond to a civil violation or violation of village ordinances, she said.

Kobe said, however, that even if the Planning Commission rewrites and updates the zoning ordinance, the use of short-term rentals could be added, but the problem is if building owners start to renting them out on a short-term basis, it will drastically reduce the number of long-term apartments, houses and other rental units available, which could potentially lead to population decline, which the village cannot afford, by due to lower income for long-term tenants.

Village administrator Andrew Ranville said this is something the village is already seeing. According to, Calumet’s population has experienced a steady decline in recent years. In 2019, the village had 744 inhabitants. Between 2018 and 2019, the population increased from 748 to 744, then to 676 in 2020.

Ranville, who also holds a seat on the Planning Commission, responded that the village wants long-term rentals, the village wants the tax base, but wondered how best to get there.

Maybe define an area in the village before an ordinance is created for short-term rentals, so that if defined, it must refer to at least one area, he said.

“A separate ordinance defining what we allow short-term rentals”, Kobe replied: “It could be advantageous.

The first thing we could do, she suggested, would be to cap the number of apartments that can be rented short-term, downtown or across the village.

“The other thing, which maybe isn’t that popular,” said Kobe, “Can we start taxing.” That’s what other communities are doing, the city of Chicago has started doing it, because it’s like a hotel.

Planning Commissioner Virginia Dwyer has taken a look at how the town of Hancock approaches short-term rentals, saying in that town they must be allowed. There is a fee for the permit and rentals must be inspected, but I repeat that what is lacking in Calumet Village is code enforcement.

Dwyer said there are several landlords who engage in short term rentals, for which they cannot be blamed as it is very lucrative, but at the same time as they are not currently regulated there are Safety questions arise: are there sufficient parking spaces provided, eg.

Village trustee Rob Tarvis also raised the question of whether short-term rentals should be allowed in commercial and industrial districts, or only in the residential area.

Dwyer referred to a map that shows where registered AirBnBs are located, and then suggested there were plenty more that might not be listed.

“Maybe it’s time – because we also have prescriptions,” said Dwyer, “It’s time for the village to consider enforcing a code / ordinance.

Ranville suggested that the Planning Commission speak with Sara Kopriva, with attorneys Beckett and Raeder, to draft a code or ordinance for the final version of the new zoning ordinance before it is presented to the village at the next. public hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for the month of November.

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