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Effort to loosen rental rules draws criticism in Whitewater Township

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The argument over short-term rentals has come to Whitewater township. The township’s planning commission wants to relax zoning rules so new rentals can be built on existing residential lots.

Under a new proposal, residents who own at least 30,000 square feet of land could build a second structure on their property. The new structure could be up to 1,200 square feet in size.

The proposal would allow homeowners to rent their new structures on websites like AirBnB.

But township supervisor Ron Popp says it’s a bad idea.

“This is kind of a zoning change that I don’t think people are actually for,” says Popp. “If you’re putting 16 people and four different families in one place, that’s a motel.”

Neighborhood residents have also expressed their opposition towards this project.

Don Bonato, a long-time resident of the community, said that the project will disrupt the nature of the neighborhood.

“It will be noisier, more congested, and instead of two families on the lot, there’ll be more,” says Bonato.

He’s also concerned of the quality of lake water being tainted.

A petition has been circulated around the community with signatures against the proposal. Bonato and other neighbors plan to present it to the township board meeting tonight, at 7 p.m.