Save Airbnb in Grand Rapids
Friends, will you join our campaign to support home-sharing in Grand Rapids?
Four years ago, my husband Brian and I began sharing our home with artists who were visiting Grand Rapids for ArtPrize. Each of the guests we've hosted since then has entered our homes, touched our hearts and invested in our community.
We were surprised to learn the Grand Rapids City Commission was scheduled to vote on a proposed ordinance change on October 22 that would make it illegal to advertise short-term room rentals on sites without a business license and a special zoning permit. This means homeowners listing their available space on room-sharing websites like Airbnb could be charged with a misdemeanor. To be eligible for the zoning permit, applicants must fit within a very narrow classification of a Bed and Breakfast and also pay a non-refundable $1750 fee with no guarantee that a permit would be granted. Passing this restrictive and cost-prohibitive regulation would effectively wipe out Airbnb in Grand Rapids and squash the entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit that has defined our community.
Thankfully, there was enough community opposition to this proposal that the Grand Rapids City Commissioners postponed the vote until after a public hearing is held on Tuesday, November 12. Our Commissioners have extended an invitation for the public to participate in this important conversation about the future of home-sharing in Grand Rapids.
We launched this petition to demonstrate to City Commissioners that the citizens of Grand Rapids support home-sharing and are eager to work together to discuss the role of short-term rentals in our community. At the hearing on November 12, we will deliver the signatures and ask the Commissioners to 1) delay the vote and 2) appoint a study committee of representative stakeholders to create a set of proactive policy recommendations that put Grand Rapids in a position to be a model city for home-sharing and hospitality. Will you sign this petition as a demonstration of your support?
- Erica & Brian V
Community Advocates, Peers Members
Important Note: We will only include your first name, last initial, and city when we deliver the petition.
City Lantern Photo Credit: Jack Amick