The GAD Top Three | May 28th, 2024

NAR Seeks Additional Court Review in DOJ Dispute, Traverse City Commission Approves $360,000 in Funding for East Bay Flats, Short-Term Rental Ordinances Come to Wexford County

In this week’s GAD Top 3, we touch on NAR’s petition for a rehearing of a ruling allowing a reopening of the DOJ’s previously closed investigation into NAR’s policies. The Traverse City Commission presents its efforts to address housing and homelessness and approves $360,000 in funding for East Bay Flats. A Short-Term Rental Ordinance in the Township of Selma is now in effect and Cherry Grove Township considers one as well.

1. NAR Seeks Additional Court Review in DOJ Dispute

This past Monday, May 20th the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a rehearing of their 2-1 ruling to reopen the U.S. Department of Justice’s previously closed investigation into NAR’s policies. This dispute focused only on the DOJ’s ability to unilaterally withdraw from its settlement agreement with NAR. It is unrelated to the private class action litigation in which NAR is a defendant and NAR’s pending settlement agreement in that litigation and does not address any of the department’s claims about NAR policies or antitrust topics. For more information on NAR’s petition check out this article

2. Traverse City Commission Approves $360,000 in Funding for East Bay Flats 

At the Traverse City Commission Meeting on May 6th, City Manager Elizabeth Vogel gave a presentation (2:28 to 2:41) on Traverse City’s efforts to address housing and homelessness based on conversations and efforts with community partners and Traverse City community members' feedback through public comments. Highlights include:

  • Public Outreach & Education
    • Potential Summer Reading Program on the book “Homelessness is a Housing Crisis”
    • Housing Workshop with Flywheel on affordable housing, financing, and legislative strategies
  • Short-Term Goals
    • Traverse City is working with area partners to fund $50,000 in services to address public health and safety in the Pines. These efforts include:
      • Tree Trimming - completed
      • Two portable restrooms and sinks - installed in mid-May
      • Solar-powered benches with charging stations - have been ordered
        • Installation of security cameras near an on-site dumpster
      • Waste receptacles in 8th Street Corridor - Added to the City’s waste contract
  •  Mid-Term Goals
    • Additional Community Police Officer to allow one officer to work in the Pines/Central Neighborhood and one in the 8th Street/Boardman Neighborhood
    • Additional Police Social Worker
    • Community Court - a specialized court program to address the legal issues of individuals experiencing homelessness 
  • Long-Term Goals
    • Permanent Supportive Housing
      • Support funding gap to house 17 chronically homeless individuals by August 2024 and 10 more by January 2025 at East Bay Flats. Which is what the $360,000 in funding would support.
      • Support more Permanent Supportive Housing
      • Continue to support Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) that include Permanent Supportive Housing
      • Work with community partners and communicate progress 

Following this presentation the Traverse City Commission voted to approve a Fiscal Year 2023/204 budget amendment for the expenditure of $360,000 from Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan to provide permanent supportive housing at East Bay Flats and consideration of authorizing the related agreement with Goodwill. For more information you can check out the May 6th Traverse City Commission Meeting Minutes here and view Traverse City City Manager Elizabeth Vogel’s presentation, public comments, and Traverse City City Commissioner comments here (2:28 to 3:14).

3. Short-Term Rental Ordinances Come to Wexford County

Since the Aspire North Regional Short-Term Rental Policies Guide was originally launched in mid-2020, most communities in Wexford County were without any Short-Term Rental Policies. This is starting to change. As of February this year, the Township of Selma put in place a Short-Term Rental Ordinance requiring an initial permit fee of $200 and an annual renewal fee of $100 along with other requirements. Cherry Grove Township is working on a Short-Term Rental Ordinance of their own. Cherry Grove Township’s Short-Term Rental Ordinance was discussed most recently in their April 10th Township Regular Meeting and was part of their May 8th Township Regular Meeting agenda (minutes not yet available on their website). If you are aware of any Short-Term Rental policy changes or discussions happening in the six-county (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford) we us know so we can keep Aspire North REALTORS members informed through the Aspire North Regional Short-Term Rental Policies Guide.

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.