The GAD Top Three | August 28th, 2023

TC Commission Study Session to Discuss Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Residential Density; TC Commission PILOT Ad Hoc Committee Discusses Draft PILOT Policy, Procedure, and Workforce PILOT Ordinance; and NAR Responds to FHFA’s Policies Based on Federal “Blueprint for a Tenant’s Bill of Rights”  

Busy day in Traverse City with the Traverse City Commission beginning discussions on proposed zoning ordinance amendments to residential districts passed by the Traverse City Planning Commission in June, as well as discussions continuing on Traverse City’s Draft Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Policy, Procedure and Workforce PILOT Ordinance by the Traverse City Commission PILOT Ad Hoc Committee. At a national level the National Association of REALTORS, just like Michigan REALTORS at the state level, is addressing policies tied to a potential national tenant bill of rights. 

1. TC Commission Study Session TONIGHT to Discuss Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Residential Density

Tonight, at the Traverse City Commission Study Session at 7 pm at the Grand Traverse Governmental Center (400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City) they will be renewing discussion on the recommended zoning changes passed by the Traverse City Planning Commission back on June 6th. The recommended zoning amendments from the Planning Commission can be summarized as follows:

  1. Allow up to four dwelling units in the R-2 District, but limit the number of structures that can be used for residential purposes to two;
  2. Allow duplexes by right in the R-1a/b District;
  3. Reduce the minimum lot size for cluster housing from five acres to one acre and change approval from a City Commission SLUP to an administrative SLUP;
  4. Allow two principal dwellings on an R-1a/b District lot that is twice the minimum area without having to split the lot;
  5. Reduce minimum lot width and area in the R-1a/b District, and slightly increase maximum impervious surface limits in the R-1a/b and R-2 Districts; and
  6. Modify the ADU regulations to remove the annual cap, allow duplexes in the R-1a/b District and duplexes and triplexes in the R-2 District, and remove the owner-occupancy requirement

There will be no action taken on these proposed changes, as this is a Study Session. The Traverse City Commission will need to schedule a public hearing at a Regular City Commission Meeting in the future if they choose to move forward with taking action on the proposed changes. Aspire North REALTORS in April submitted a letter of support to the Traverse City Planning Commission for their goals to Expand Housing Opportunities in Traverse City. There is expected to be high attendance at this meeting, if you would like to make sure your voice is heard on this issue, be sure to attend.

2. TC Commission PILOT Ad Hoc Committee TODAY Discusses Draft PILOT Policy, Procedure and Workforce PILOT Ordinance

The Traverse City Commission PILOT (Payment-in-Lieu for Taxes) Ad Hoc Committee meets TODAY (Monday, August 28th at 1 pm) at the Grand Traverse Governmental Center (400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City) for a discussion of a Model PILOT Ordinance, which includes discussion on a Workforce Housing PILOT Ordinance (pages 35 to 40). For a refresher, we covered the model Workforce PILOT programs in Michigan in the GAD Top 3 last week. The Traverse City Workforce Housing PILOT Ordinance, as I understand it, has one notable exception in that it requires the passage of a PILOT resolution by five (5) members of the City Commission (page 38), which I believe is not included in the City of White Cloud or the City of Jackson. It is noted that this is due to a Traverse City Charter Section 28, which requires 5 affirmative votes to create a contract, but still bears watching. 

3. NAR Responds to FHFA’s Policies Based on Federal “Blueprint for a Tenant’s Bill of Rights”

It’s not just in Michigan that a Renter’s Bill of Rights is being considered, which we went over in last week’s GAD Top 3, but there are similar policies being considered at a federal level, including rent control. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently responded to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) request for input (RFI) on tenant protections in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed multifamily rental properties. The RFI is a continuation of the administration’s “Blueprint for a Tenant’s Bill of Rights,” a project announced in January in which the White House and federal agencies are examining existing rental housing policies. Read the submitted comments here. This is in addition to a coalition comment letter that NAR joined with other housing provider groups, including the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) in response to the same RFI.

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.