The GAD Top 3 | February 6th, 2023

TC Planning Commission to Approve Housing Goals, NAR Comments on Appraisal Reconsideration Policy, Interest in TC in PILOT for Workforce Housing

Welcome back to The GAD Top 3, a weekly highlight of the 3 local, state, or national real estate public policy happenings that your Aspire North Government Affairs Director (GAD Connor Miller thinks you should know about. A likely renewal of the Traverse City Planning Commission’s housing goal and objectives headline this week’s list as well as a response from NAR to the concerns of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) consideration of not limiting comparable properties in the reconsideration process.

1. TC Planning Commission to Approve Housing Goals

This coming Tuesday, February 7th at 7 pm, the Traverse City Planning Commission will consider a renewal of their goal to expand housing opportunities through the following objectives:

  • Allowing up to four total dwelling units in the R-2 district.
  • Allowing duplexes and/or triplexes on corner lots in the R-1a/b districts that are 1.5 times the minimum lot size, or simply allowing duplexes by right in the districts.
  • Amending the cluster housing options to be an administrative SLUP (Special Land Use Permit) as opposed to a City Commission SLUP, and reduce the minimum lot size from five acres to one acre.
  • Permitting two principal dwellings on lots that are twice the minimum lot size with requiring the lots to be divided and with appropriate setbacks.
  • Reducing the minimum lot width and area, with a corresponding incremental increase in impervious surface in the R-1a/b districts.
  • Promoting the creation of more accessory dwelling units throughout the City by eliminating the annual cap, allowing them on lots with duplexes, and no longer requiring owner occupancy.

Voice your support or opposition to these objectives at the Traverse City Planning Commission Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7th at 7 pm at the Governmental Center (400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City) or by emailing the Traverse City Planning Commission at

2. NAR Comments on Appraisal Reconsideration Policy

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) commented on the Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Draft Borrower Request for Review of Appraisal Results ML. NAR raised concerns that not limiting the number of comparable properties offered in the reconsideration policy could lead to abuse of the reconsideration process. Rather, NAR recommended following the VA's Tidewater process that limits that figure to three. For more information and to view NAR’s official comments click here

3. Interest in TC in PILOT for Workforce Housing

As you may have seen in the Traverse City Ticker article this past Thursday, February 2nd, local development group Innovo has requested approval of a 15-year (from 2024 to 2039) payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (or PILOT) at 9% of their rental income under Michigan State Senate Bill 432 which was signed into state law in December. This PILOT or payments would be in place of the traditional taxes levied to provide Innovo savings for the development of affordable housing. Innovo states in their application that Breakwater apartments will be rented to workers earning 80 to 120 percent of AMI (Area Median Income), an income range of $53,016.80 to $79,525. Under a PILOT agreement, Innovo states that a portion of Breakwater’s current 78 units would be renovated to convert larger units for more workforce housing and allow them to house more than 90 workers.

Michigan State Senate Bill 432 allows local governments to negotiate PILOT agreements without the previous requirement that developers had applied for and received highly competitive tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Since this is a new Public Act there may be additional efforts necessary by Traverse City to update its PILOT Policy to allow for the consideration of this request from Innovo and any future housing PILOT requests. Look for more information in the coming weeks and months!

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.