City commission proposes regulations for short-term room rentals

MARQUETTE — Short-term room rental websites are an enigma. They’ve taken off in popularity, but few know what their true impact has been from city to city.

In Marquette, a public forum was held to discuss the issue. And the planning commission had a proposal in place to address it.

The proposal’s purpose was to set guidelines and provide answers to various questions regarding short-term versus long-term home rentals.

Chair of the Marquette Planning Commission, Taylor Klipp explained, “The last few months, we’ve spent separating out (questions like) – what is a bed and breakfast? How many people are there? How is that different from a long term rental? And how is this different from a short term rental? And how is this going to affect the community as a whole and neighborhoods at a smaller amount?”

Two issues with short-term rentals led to the need for regulations to be set.

“We have a lot of rentals that probably house more people than they should,” said Klipp, “We have a lot of on-lawn parking going on and that sort of thing. And we’re trying to stop that.”

Crowded parking situations can make life difficult for local law enforcement or firefighters trying to do their jobs.

Also, tourism is a big part of the economy, but the planning commission doesn’t want tourism to be the only part of the economy. Part of the plan was to make sure the right amount of residences are being set aside for people that actually want to live in Marquette. The commission believes that’s what drives jobs and economy.

All of this was discussed during today’s public forum at Lakeview Arena.