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Group sues Park Township over short-term rental ban


Elected officials say hundreds of complaints, while group says that's stretching the facts

After its board of trustees banned short-term rentals in Ottawa County’s Park Township, a group of residents filed a lawsuit against the municipality. The ban went into effect on October 1st of this year, which prohibits homeowners in Park Township--a small lakeshore community of around 19,000 near Holland-- from renting out their property for periods of less than 28 days.

Township officials say the ban came after receiving hundreds of noise and nuisance complaints from residents frustrated at loud and unruly guests staying in the short-term rental properties.

Now a group of over 100 residents called the Park Township Neighbors are suing the elected board of trustees who say the ban is unlawful and unfair.

Jeremy Allen is the organization’s president.

“The board of trustees has put forth some narratives that I wouldn’t say are just outright lies but aren’t necessarily grounded in facts.”

Specifically, Allen says, is the number of complaints the Township is receiving.

“As we got organized, we started doing Freedom of Information of Act Requests, and said to the township, ‘Hey, let's see the data’…and I think that data (showed) less than 48 complaints over 4 years.”

Many of those complaints, Allen says, coming from the same person. Allen says the lawsuit comes as a last resort to reverse the board’s decision.

“We live here, our kids go to school here, we want what is best for the community, but we also want what is fair.

Calls to the Township were not returned.

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