City bans additional short term rentals

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- The St. Joseph City Commission voted unanimously Monday night to ban any additional vacation rental homes in St. Joe. Business owners and rental property owners are not happy with the decision.

The city of St. Joe has a lot to offer to vacationers, including a beautiful beach, unique shopping and good restaurants.

For many residents, summertime can be a bit problematic. Dealing with all the tourist traffic can be exasperating.

"There are neighbors that want because it is a residential neighborhood. They need to get up for work in the morning and vacationers, even though they are nice people, they have a different time schedule. They are hanging out and they are enjoying the ambience of the house and they may not go to bed like people that have to get up and go to work in the morning,” said Robert Judd, Mayor of the City of St. Joseph.

Many residents say winter is just as hard. Vacation homes that are bustling with renters during warm weather are closed up and empty in the winter.

"The desire to have it occupied year round because short term rentals are maybe rented in the winter but not so likely,” said Judd.

The new ordinance will ban any more short term rentals in St Joseph's residential neighborhoods.

Those that have permits to rent for less than 30 days at a time can stay, but there is a ban on any more.

Connie Yore, a local business owner in downtown, was at the city commission meeting.

She says she understands why there is a need for the ban. At the same time - as a store owner, she wants to see St Joseph be as tourist friendly as possible.

"Tourism revenue will be lost if there are not any more permits allowed by the city. Since I am a store owner, I really feel it is a positive for us to have vacationers here,” said Yore.

Rental owners say they are upset with the city's decision because, for many of them, this is their livelihood.

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