| 1 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, |

The Sylvan Township Board kept in mind short-term rentals and Airbnb when it granted two requests at its Nov. 19 meeting for accessory structures to be built.

The first request was made by the owner of 4088 Mushbach Road, who was asking for and was granted a variance to construct a 1,900 square feet cabana/pool house with kitchen and bathroom facilities for personal use.

As part of the township staff’s recommendation, it was stated the variance could be conditionally granted upon an executed recordable instrument prepared by township legal counsel that will limit the use of the structure for recreational purposes for the enjoyment of the property owner.


“The cabana/pool house will not be permitted to be converted to a residence or to be rented out for economic gain,” the township staff recommendation said.

A variance is a request to deviate from current zoning requirements.

Sylvan Township Supervisor Tom McKernan said the township doesn’t currently have an ordinance that addresses accessory structures. He said the township will be looking to draw up ordinance language to address these requests, but in the meantime the township can grant a variance.

The second variance granted was for an accessory structure at 517 Glazier Road, who is requesting to build a new structure, just over 700 square feet, above the garage there that would include kitchen and bathroom facilities. Again, the township board emphasized the approval would be granted with the condition that it be limited to personal use only by the property owner and not used as a residence/rental space.

McKernan said they don’t want to inhibit people from improving their properties for personal use, but they also don’t want to create any issues for the township. Especially as it pertains to uses such as short-term rentals, which township ordinance doesn’t address at this time.

McKernan said there is currently state-wide legislation being considered dealing with short-term rentals and the outcome of that will be important when the township looks to further update its ordinance.


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