By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.-By a 3-4 vote on Monday night the township board of trustees ok’d the definition of transient to be a person who is at a residence for less than 30 days. Under this definition, a single-family dwelling may not be occupied by a transient person.
Trustees Scott Broughton, Dana DePalma and Robert Marshall voted against the definition, while Kris Kordella, trustee; Candee Allen, clerk; Kathy Thurman, supervisor and Terri Darnall, treasurer voted for the definition.
At issue was a clarification of the definition of ‘transient’ in the local building codes and raises the issue of any homeowner who are not year-round residents or who have multiple properties that may want to rent their house as a cottage or vacation home for less than 30 days.
“It’s telling the homeowner what they can or can’t do with their house,” said Marshall. Other trustees agreed, and also did not know what other effects having a set definition would have on other parts of the code, and were therefore against it.
Though renting is legal for homeowners, under this definition, a renter must occupy the house for more than 30 days. Though no incident has been cited, a resident has reported being uncomfortable with different people in the neighboring residence every weekend.
“It’s preventing frat guys from disturbing the permanent residents and destroying the house,” said Terri Darnall, treasurer who supported the decision. Other members of the board had similar things to say, as well as wanting to protect current, permanent residents.
Rental properties may still be rented out for more than 30 days, to either a permanent resident or a vacationer, in a single-family dwelling. In section 46-6 of the Brandon Township Code of Ordinances, the definition of a single-family dwelling is a dwelling with only one living unit. But the definition of family states that the residents are non-transient, which is the definition that will be affected.
With websites such as airbnb.com, it is easy for residents to rent out their additional properties to those wishing to vacation on the lake or who would not like to stay in a hotel or motel.
“What the township is trying to do is keep homes from becoming motel rooms,” said Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Greg Glover, Brandon substation commander. “If you live next door to where that’s going on, don’t hesitate to call us, we will respond if you have a concern. They (township officials) are trying to keep homes from becoming weekend drug houses and places that have a revolving door.”
This also brings up the issue of a renter who has the intention of staying more than 30 days but cannot due to unforeseen circumstances, which would be the responsibility of the home owner.
It is unknown if this term will affect other parts the Code of Ordinances as it does appear in other sections.