Complaints may prompt new township rental laws

Scott Sullivan
“We’ve had renter problems since Memorial Day weekend,” said Barb Paulger, 3014 Newport, of the 3016 dwelling next to hers. The 2,118-square-foot, 4-bedroom home, which boasts deeded waterfront on the neighborhood Newport Association pond, was first listed for sale in August 2014 for $279,500 and sold for $210,000 last February to Selim Erhan of Woodbridge, Ill. “I’ve seen bonfires by the propane tank, garbage all over, noise and parties with 20 people or more,” said Paulger, sharing photographs she had taken. Other neighbors complained about fireworks and the lack of police and laws to curtail them.

Short-term rental homes don’t automatically turn into “Animal House” type settings. They have long been part of the area’s tourist draw and economy.

But abuses—neighbors who packed the Aug. 5 Saugatuck Township board meeting cited littering, bonfires built near propane tanks and other scenes worthy of the 1978 movie comedy—prompted officials to agree it was time for the township to join Douglas and Saugatuck cities drafting a short-term rental ordinance.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Aug. 13 Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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