Traverse City Mayoral and City Commission Forum Tomorrow Night, September 26th; Clearwater Township Planning Commission Renews Short-Term Rental Discussions TONIGHT, September, 25th; and Traverse City Zoning Amendments and PILOT Program Ordinance Move Forward for Potential Enactment.
The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area will be hosting a candidate forum with the candidates running for the Traverse City Mayor and City Commission TOMORROW, September 26th at 5:30 pm at the Main TADL Library, Clearwater Township renews their short-term rental discussions including consideration of a police power ordinance to license short-term rentals, and Traverse City moves forward with Zoning Ordinance Amendments to residential density and a workforce housing PILOT ordinance.
1. Traverse City Mayoral and City Commission Forum Tomorrow Night
Tomorrow, Tuesday night from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Main Traverse Area District Library (610 Woodmere Avenue, Traverse City) in the front McGuire Room the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area will be hosting a forum with the candidates running for the Traverse City Mayor and City Commission. The Mayoral candidate forum will be held first from 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm, and the Traverse City Commission candidate forum will follow from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. The forum will also be broadcast on Spectrum channel 189 and live-streamed on the Traverse Area Community Media website, www.tacm.tv/communitytvnow. Over 100 of our Aspire North REALTOR members are registered City of Traverse City residents who can vote in this election. Unsure if you are one of them? Check your voter information here (https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Voter/Index), including your registration status, the municipality where you are registered, polling place location, and more. Before you vote, don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about how the candidates stand on important Traverse City community, region-wide, and real estate-specific issues!
2. Clearwater Township Planning Commission Renews Short-Term Rental Discussions TONIGHT
The Clearwater Township Planning Commission will be renewing their discussion on Short Term Rentals from this past Spring where they passed a motion on April 3rd (pages 2 to 4) to add the classification of Short Term Rental to Ordinance 22 and a definition for Bedroom and Short Term Rental. At this time, it does not appear that the Clearwater Township Board passed this Amendment into effect. These actions were explained in April as a means to permit Short Term Rentals as a use by right. The Clearwater Township Planning Commission has also discussed considering a police power ordinance to license short-term rentals, which these classifications would need to exist in the Clearwater Township Zoning Ordinance before these limitations could be established. A special meeting will be held by the Clearwater Township Planning Commission Tonight at 7:00 pm in the Clearwater Township Hall (5407 River Street, Rapid City, MI) “to discuss issues pertaining to short-term rentals within the township. The Clearwater Township Planning Commission has provided a Zoom link (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/99451561545?pwd=S2pCdHQ0VEp1b2NNUkg0VUpYUUdBQT09) for anyone unable/unavailable to attend the meeting in person.
3. Traverse City Zoning Amendments and Workforce PILOT Ordinance Move Forward for Potential Enactment
All 5 of the 6 zoning amendments referred from the September 5th, 2023 Traverse City Commission Meeting for introduction at the September 18th Traverse City Commission meeting were moved forward for possible enactment at the October 16th, 2023 Traverse City Commission Meeting. These amendments include:
- Increase Density in the R-1a/b District by allowing duplexes by right
- Cluster Housing Modifications
- Reduce minimum lot size from five acres to one acre
- Switch from a City Commission SLUP to an Administrative SLUP
- Allowance of two principal homes on lots that are twice the minimum area without a lot split
- Dimension Standard Modifications
- Reduce minimum lot width in the R-1a from 90 ft to 70 ft
- Reduce minimum lot width in the R-1b from 45 ft to 35 ft
- Reduce minimum lot area in the R-1a from 9,000 sf to 7,000 sf
- Reduce minimum lot area in the R-1b from 5,000 sf to 4,000 sf
- Increase maximum impervious area in the R-1a from 30% to 35%
- Increase maximum impervious area in the R-1b from 45% to 50%
- Increase maximum impervious area in the R-1a from 45% to 50%
- Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Modifications
- Remove the annual cap of 15 permitted ADUs
- Allow ADUs with duplexes in the R-2 District
There was much discussion for and against the Zoning Amendments expressed during public comment and I would expect an eventful meeting on October 16th. The Traverse City Commission has expressed that they intend to take action or drop any of these proposed zoning amendments prior to the start of the next Traverse City Commission following the November 7th election of a new Traverse City Mayor and 3 new City Commissioners. So if you wish to have your voice heard on this issue, mark your calendar for Monday, October 16th!
Although overshadowed by the consideration of Traverse City Zoning Amendments, a Workforce PILOT (Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes) Ordinance was introduced and scheduled for possible enactment at the October 2nd, 2023 Traverse City Commission Meeting. It was important to see this move forward for possible enactment quickly, because any applicant for a workforce PILOT must file the certified notification of the exemption with the city assessor before November 1st of the year preceding the tax year in which the exemption is to be effective. In short, for this PILOT ordinance to be effective and lower the tax rate for potential workforce housing projects in 2024, it needs to be enacted before November 1st and any project applied and approved by November 1st as well. For more background on workforce housing PILOT Ordinances in Michigan and Traverse City check out the August 21st and August 28th GAD Top 3s.