Saugatuck Explores Collaborative Approach in Addressing Short-Term Rental Challenges

Saugatuck, a city grappling with the complexities of short-term rentals (STRs), is taking a collaborative approach to finding solutions. The city’s planning commission is currently in the process of reviewing the recommendations put forth by the STR task force, which was formed in response to growing concerns from both STR owners and locals.

In a recent meeting, the planning commission deliberated on the best way forward and ultimately decided to join forces with the Saugatuck City Council to discuss the issue collectively. Some commissioners expressed concerns about this decision, fearing that it might set a precedent of the commission relinquishing its independent decision-making authority. However, others, like Commissioner Holly Anderson, recognized the benefits of collaboration.

Anderson emphasized that the intricate nature of the issue requires multiple perspectives and shared information to arrive at the best possible outcome. By working together, both the planning commission and the city council can ensure a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges and make informed decisions.

The task force’s recommendations revolve mainly around zoning regulations and the implementation of a “good neighbor guide.” This guide aims to establish clear expectations and rules for STR renters, covering key areas such as noise, trash disposal, parking considerations, and occupancy limits.

Additionally, the task force proposed the idea of a dedicated code enforcement officer to address concerns specific to STRs. This officer would be responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and promptly addressing any issues that may arise.

The upcoming joint meeting between the planning commission and the city council offers an opportunity to streamline the decision-making process. By addressing concerns and seeking clarification together, both entities can save valuable resources and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.

As Saugatuck continues to navigate the complexities of STRs, the collaborative approach taken by the planning commission and the city council demonstrates a commitment to finding effective and sustainable solutions that uphold the interests of both residents and property owners.


What is a short-term rental (STR)?

A short-term rental (STR) refers to the practice of renting out a property, typically a residential dwelling, for a short period, usually less than 30 days.

What is a good neighbor guide?

A good neighbor guide is a set of guidelines and regulations designed to ensure that those who rent a property in a particular area understand the expectations regarding noise, trash disposal, parking, and other issues. It aims to foster peaceful coexistence and minimize disturbances in the community.

What is a code enforcement officer?

A code enforcement officer is an individual responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with local ordinances and regulations. In the case of short-term rentals, a dedicated code enforcement officer would oversee the adherence to rules specific to this type of accommodation and address any related concerns.