Overlay districts are ordinances that limit the use of rentals or prohibit new rentals in a neighborhood. They are instated through the petition of 2/3 of a neighborhood’s residents, and must be approved by the planning commission and city council. On Dec. 1, East Lansing added three new ones. Although the word “student” was rarely mentioned at the meeting, these overlays are yet another rental restriction that targets students unfairly, and part of what many think is a push by the city of East Lansing to move students further away from campus.

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