Dexter approves vacation rental request


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Dexter has its first dedicated vacation rental home.

Following a recommendation from the City’s Planning Commission, City Council at its May 23 meeting approved a special land permit application for vacation rental accommodation at 8040 Huron Street.

The listing on VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) describes the rental as having three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and sleeps six. Property owners Douglas Neal and Lisa Belanger Neal live next door to the 1,489-square-foot home.

The neighbors expressed their support for the Neals at the Commission’s public hearing for the project and in writing.

“Having a short-term rental within the city limits would give visitors the opportunity to experience Dexter like the walkable, family-friendly community I know,” local realtor Mike Penn wrote. “Also, being able to rent a fully furnished home on a short-term basis is an attractive option for those visiting the area for more than a few days.”

The Planning Commission and the City Council were impressed by the rigor of the couple’s presentation. During its review of the application, the city determined that the vacation home is compatible with the Dexter Town Master Plan and complies with zoning ordinances. Another factor the City considered was compatibility with the existing character of the general neighborhood. Rental activity will not affect the public right-of-way or impact the natural environment.

The Neals’ house rules include no smoking, no parties, no pets, no rentals when the Neals are out of town, a maximum of six people per night, and two cars. Tenants are asked to justify their visit and must provide a valid identity document which is then verified.

The Neals plan tenants in town for UM football, UM business, UM hospital services, vacation, vacation and outdoor recreation.

The Neals previously rented the house, but quit once they learned the city wouldn’t allow it without a special land use permit. The community development manager explained in an email that the couple had contacted the city and started the approval process. After demonstrating that they could/will operate the vacation rental in accordance with the requirements of the zoning ordinance, the Neals’ application was approved.

Before closing their rental to get the proper approval, the Neals established a five-star “outstanding” rating on VRBO. The tenants’ comments reflect Dexter well.

From Mike H: “Six stars. Among the 10 to 15 flatshares, we easily rented the cleanest and most comfortable. A beautiful location right on the banks of the Huron in a cute little town. Very easy access to Ann Arbor on GameDay. Thank you very much to our great hosts!”

Gerri C wrote: “The cider house a few doors down was open so we hit that for regular/hard cider and standard/gf cider donuts. Dexter has the WHOLE thriving culinary scene within a ten minute walk of the house. And for a small town, the shops and cafes were great too.

Leslye H commented: “Recess was great. We launched our kayaks at Hudson Mills and took them home. Then take turns on the B2B track. Dexter has so much to offer, and this was the perfect place to take advantage of it.

Customer feedback was not lost on Aniol, who told the Board that such rentals “could be an interesting economic development for Dexter”.

People in Dexter interested in establishing a vacation rental can contact the town offices for more information.


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