Up North, Towns Eye ‘Granny Flats’
Carolyn Kelly, Michigan Land Use Institute
Related feature from MLUI Media:
Young People Speak Up for Granny Flats
Somehow, it doesn’t seem to add up: Northwest Lower Michigan’s population is rising, but the number of people living in its towns and villages is falling.
Apartment hunting in the region quickly reveals one reason behind this apparent mystery: Cities and towns have a shortage of quality, right-sized housing for people who live alone or in pairs. With America’s average household size falling, more singles and couples are forced to move into homes that have too much room. This not only wastes some of their rent or mortgage money, it also leaves lots of unused bedroom space, which effectively pushes down that community’s population.
That harms local businesses, revenue-sharing formulas, and school enrollmentsâ€”and concentrates taxes on an ever smaller number of people.
This is why officials in Traverse City, Frankfort, Suttons Bay, Petoskey, and some other area communities are now looking at reviving regulations allowing more so-called “accessory dwelling units.” Also called “granny flats,” “carriage houses,” or even “mortgage helpers,” these small upstairs and backyard units, usually for one or two people, were common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in many towns, large and small.
Continue Reading Up North, Towns Eye ‘Granny Flats’ from the MLUI.