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Even Small UP Towns Grapple With Online Short-Term Rentals

CALUMET, Mich. (AP) — Some of Michigan's smallest towns are seeing ripples from short-term lodging popularized by Airbnb and other websites.

Calumet is on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the far north of the Upper Peninsula. Short-term rentals came up at a recent meeting of the village council.

Aerial View of the City of Calumet with St Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in the Foreground (Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images)

The chairwoman of the planning commission, Colleen Kobe, said the rentals are not a permitted use under Calumet's zoning law, The Daily Mining Gazette reported.

"Those really shouldn't be happening there," Kobe said of short-term rentals in downtown apartments.

And even if the ordinance is changed, Airbnb-style rentals could reduce long-term rentals and cause a population loss, Kobe said.

"The other thing, which might not be all that popular," said Kobe, "is we could start taxing. That's what other communities do, the city of Chicago started doing that because it's just like a hotel."

Planning commissioner Virginia Dwyer said Hancock, 12 miles south, allows short-term rentals, but the owner must pay for a permit and have a property inspected.

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