South Haven

Historical Association of South Haven

The Historical Association of South Haven is re-opening its popular exhibit Catskills of the Midwest: The Jewish Resort Era in South Haven. It shows how farms run by Jewish immigrants slowly led to large lakeside resorts for Jewish families all over the region. 

The exhibit opens Saturday, May 28th at the Historical Association of South Haven building on Hubbard Street.

South Haven’s Planning Commission has approved a new ordinance to govern rental properties in the city. It now goes to the city council. 

Beth Harpaz / Associated Press

Web sites such as Airbnb make it easy to rent out your home. But you might end up in trouble with your local government. In some cities, zoning precludes short-term rentals. Others require inspections and a certificate for any would-be landlord.

That’s the case in the City of Kalamazoo, where one Airbnb has prompted a discussion within the city about the difference between a guest and a customer.

"SouthHavenMichiganDowntown" by Dave Parker - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

While many cities across Michigan saw property values plummet during the recession, those along Lake Michigan weathered the storm better than most. One reason for that is short-term rentals – people renting out rooms, or whole houses -- for days or weeks at a time using websites like HomeAway and Airbnb. The rentals have turned lakefront homes in towns like St. Joseph and Saugatuck into sources of income. But in South Haven, the size and location of those rentals is turning into a problem.

Ed Appleyard of the Historical Association of South Haven stands near the light inside the old South Haven Pier Lighthouse
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Michigan has more lighthouses along its shoreline than any other state in the country. While the U.S. Coast Guard still maintains the lights, it’s not required to take care of the lighthouses. As a result, local governments and non-profits are scrambling to find the money to restore the state’s lighthouses, before they’re beyond repair.