Statement on the Zoning Ordinance Changes Regulating Airbnb
There have been several recent news reports regarding recent changes to the City of Detroit's Zoning Ordinance some of which affect the operation of an Airbnb in certain residential areas. In November of 2017 and after public hearings regarding the matter, City Council voted to approve the changes to the Zoning Ordinance proposed by the City Planning Commission.
The clarification in the zoning laws was an effort to be responsive and sensitive to homeowners who were concerned about their safety, quality of life and property values as a result of living in very close proximity to single family homes consistently used as hotels. Many of these concerned homeowners are elderly and vulnerable and expressed their concerns with Airbnb's in their neighborhood prior to the vote on the changes.
There was never any intention on behalf of my colleagues or myself to limit Detroiter's ability to use their homes or property to supplement their income. In fact, we have been assured by the Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, which is responsible for enforcement, that there is no "crackdown," as reported, on Airbnb and none planned. With that said, my colleagues and I will be re-examining the zoning law changes to ensure there aren't any unintended and inequitable consequences negatively impacting Detroiter's ability to derive an income from their property.
I look forward to hearing from District 5 constituents and Detroit residents on both sides of the issue and using that information to craft a solution which honors the rights of every property owner.