The GAD Top Three | January 30th, 2023

NAR Wins, Point-of-Sale in Leelanau County, and City of Frankfort STR Ordinance.

Welcome to The GAD Top Three, a weekly summary by your Government Affairs Director (GAD) Connor Miller of three local, state, or national stories in real estate public policy. For this first week, the GAD Top Three is looking backward before it goes forward with a big national ruling and some important local changes that have occurred and will set the stage for Aspire North's important issue areas in 2023.

1. NAR Wins!

On January 25th, 2023 a federal district court granted the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) its petition to end the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation of the MLS Participation Rule and Clear Cooperation Policy case (source: California Association of REALTORS). This does not preclude the DOJ from investigating NAR in the future and the DOJ can appeal this decision. However, this decision — which binds the DOJ to their original agreement reached on November 19th, 2020 — is a clear victory for NAR. 

This summary, courtesy of The Miami Association of Realtors, is a great refresher on the original agreement between the DOJ and NAR on rules that more explicitly state the spirit and intent of NAR’s Code of Ethics, MLS policies regarding commissions, and MLS participation.

2. Point-of-Sale in Leelanau County

A new Sanitary Code for Leelanau County has taken effect as of Friday, January 27th. The new code requires a point-of-sale or transfer septic inspection to be conducted by the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department prior to the transfer of ownership. 

The following transfers are exempt from the requirement:

  • A water well, permitted water well, and/or septic system that was installed and approved by the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department within 36 months prior to the proposed transfer.

  • A water well where the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department has obtained acceptable water quality samples (bacteria and nitrate) within 6 months prior to the proposed transfer.

View the new Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department District Sanitary Code and a Quick Reference Guide of the District Sanitary Code Changes. For more on this and all other sewer, septic, and well information, visit the Local and State Sewer, Septic, and Well Information webpage exclusively on the Aspire North REALTORS Members Info Hub 

3. City of Frankfort STR Ordinance

On January 10th, the Frankfort City Council adopted a Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance. This Ordinance will take effect on February 17th, 30 days after its January 18th publication date.   

This STR Ordinance applies to all residential zoning districts, allowing them to limit permits to 120 STRS per year and 2 STRs per single owner after December 31st, 2022. Additional standards including providing a copy of the City of Frankfort Good Neighbor Guide to the occupants of the STR unit can be found in the City of Frankfort Short-Term Rental Ordinance.

To view all STR Ordinances across a 6-county region (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford) visit the Regional Short-Term Rental Policies webpage exclusively on the Aspire North REALTORS Members Info Hub

Point-of-Sale Septic Inspections and Short-Term Rental Ordinances are likely to stay front and center in our region. as other local governments consider septic policies (East Bay Township) and the creation or modification of STR Ordinances (Clearwater, East Bay, and Lake Township).

See you next week with the latest and greatest updates on the public policy happenings that affect the real estate business. Aware of an issue that is missing from this list that deserves more attention? Email

Connor Miller photo
Connor Miller
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, I work to advocate for the real estate industry through programming that promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates; engage, inform, and activate membership and local government officials on key local and state real estate policies; provide staff support to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee that invests members' voluntary contributions to protect and promote the real estate industry; and support the Aspire North memberships’ involvement in community projects to further grow and strengthen our region.