The Village of Milford is seeking guidance related to occupancy limits for rentals and sober living homes.

An ordinance amendment would limit the number of occupants in a rental home based on the square-footage. The village currently has four sober homes, which are used by people recovering from substance abuse that serve as an interim environment between rehab and mainstream society. By limiting the number of occupants, operating such facilities becomes much more difficult. At the most recent meeting, Council approved contracting with the village’s engineering consultants to review state legislation regarding occupancy limits in rental homes at a cost not to exceed $5,000. Village Manager Christian Wuerth tells WHMI the consultants will be helping to review additional standards related to occupancy limits in residential rental properties, which may include possible studies to determine if new standards could or should be adopted by the Village. He says while OHM Advisors is the Village's engineering consultant, they have other disciplines within the firm and they expect to utilize those individuals as part of this process.

Health and safety aspects will be analyzed as Council has voiced concerns regarding fire escape routes, restrooms and how many residents would constitute too many. Questions were also raised about enforcement and how to make sure a home does not exceed the allowed number of occupants. Further, Council has directed the planning commission to analyze special land use regarding rentals. Changes to the municipality’s rental ordinance limits the number of occupants in a home based on square-footage. Ordinance revisions require that any rental with three to five occupants must have at least 120-square-feet of living room space and 80-square-feet of dining space. Any home with six or more occupants would need 150-square-feet of living space and a 100-square-foot dining room. Other amendments include a requirement that each residential rental in a single-family district provide two off-street parking spaces in addition to one space per bedroom and that any rental with more than 16 occupants must have an automatic sprinkler system. (JM)