The IRC Short-Term Rental Advisory Committees’ Study of “Restrictions” Could be an Easy One

shortterm

AMID REPORTS OF COMMERCIAL PARKING LOTS IN RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS, THE SMELL OF ROTTING AND PICKED OVER GARBAGE left on the side of the road for days and loud speaker party music and noise across the property lines, IRC County Commissioners have each appointed a member (although largely made up of those with real estate sales / real estate rental alliances) to a Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee for Indian River County for the purpose of studying and making recommendations on short-term rental restrictions.

(The Advisory Committee will not concern itself with parking and events as those have already gone through the Planning and Zoning Committee and are due to be voted on, on 9/22/15.)

This is a three part article.

First, we will outline the short-term rental restrictions adopted by Monroe County.  If the Advisory Committee were to recommend adoption of these same restrictions their job would be an easy one.

Second, we will provide you with the wording of a ACT effective July 1, 2014 enacted by the Florida Legislature that now allows Indian River County to “restrict” the use of vacation rentals.

Third, as we have previously provided, we summarized short-term rental complaints compiled by Miles Conway, Ph.D, related to transient boarding houses in the City of Vero Beach and IRC gathered from sources other than IRC. Dr. Conway is a Director and Secretary of the South Beach Property Owners Association.

MONROE COUNTY SPECIAL VACATION RENTAL PERMIT                           REGULATIONS AND CONDITIONS

  1. No more than one motorized watercraft, including a jet ski or wave runner, shall be allowed at each vacation rental unit.  The watercraft may be moored either at an existing on-site docking facility or stored on a trailer in an approved parking place.
  2. Vehicles, watercraft and trailers shall not be placed on the streets or yards.  All vehicles, watercraft and boat trailers must be parked or stored off-street in parking places specifically designated and approved in the special vacation rental permit. One vehicle parking space shall be required per bedroom or efficiency unit and one boat trailer space per vacation rental unit.
  3. No boat docked at a vacation rental property shall be chartered to a person other than registered guests of the vacation rental unit or used for live-aboards, sleeping or overnight accommodations.  In addition, recreation vehicles shall not be used for sleeping or overnight accommodations at the vacation rental unit.
  4. Occupants shall be prohibited from making excessive boisterous noise in or about and residential dwelling unit at all times.  Noise, that is audiable beyond the boundaries of the residential dwelling unit, shall be prohibited between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. weekdays and 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends.
  5. All trash and debris on the vacation rental property must be kept in covered trash containers.  Each vacation rental unit must be equipped with at least four covered trash containers for such purpose.  Owners must post, and owners must comply with, all trash and recycling schedules and requirements applicable to the vacation rental unit.  Trash containers must not be placed by the street for pick-up until 6:00 p.m. the night before pick-up and must be removed from the area by the street by 6:00 p.m. the next day.
  6. A tenant’s agreement to the foregoing rules must me made part of each and every lease under F. S. 509.01 for any rental unit subject to the provisions of this section.  These vacation rental regulations governing tenant conduct and use of the rental unit shall be prominently posted within each dwelling unit subject to the provisions of this section along with the warning that violations of this code are subject to fines or punishable as a second degree misdemeanor and is also grounds for immediate termination of the lease and eviction from the leased premises and criminal penalties under F. S. 509.151 (‘Defrauding and In-keeper”), F.S. 509.142 (“Conduct on Premises”), or F. S. 509.143 (Disorderly Conduct on Premises, arrest”).
  7. The owner or agent shall require a lease to be executed with each vacation rental use of the property and maintain a guest and vehicle register listing all vacation occupants names, home addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle license plate and watercraft registration numbers.  Each lease and this register shall be kept by the vacation rental manager and available for inspection by county code enforcement personnel during business hours.
  8. Vacation rental units must be registered, licensed and meet all applicable state requirements contained in F.S. ch. 212 (Florida Tax and Revenue Act) and F.S. ch. 509 (Public Lodging Establishments) as implemented by the Florida Administrative Code, as may be amended.
  9. The vacation rental use must comply with all State of Florida  Department of Health and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection standards for wastewater treatment and disposal.
  10. All vacation units shall have a vacation rental manager, who has been issued a vacation manager license by the planning department.  The vacation rental manager shall reside within and be licensed for that section of the county (Upper, Middle and Lower Keys) where the vacation rental unit is located and be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for the purpose of of promptly responding to complaints regarding conduct or behavior of vacation rental occupants or alleged violations of this section. Any change in the vacation rental manager shall require written notification to the Planning Department and notification by certified return mail to property owners within 300 feet of the subject dwelling.
  11. Complaints to the vacation rental manager concerning violations by occupants of vacation rental units to this sections shall be responded to within one hour.  The neighbor who made the complaint shall be contacted by telephone or in person and informed as to the results of the actions taken by the manager.  A record shall be kept of the complaint and the manager’s response for a period of at least three months after the incident, which shall be available for inspection by the County Code Enforcement Department during business hours.
  12. The name, address, and telephone number of the vacation rental manager, the telephone number of the County Code Enforcement Department and the number of the special vacation rental permit shall be posted and visible from the front property line of the vacation rental unit.
  13. The tenant’s agreement with the rules of conduct shall be posted in a conspicuous location at each vacation rental unit.
  14. Occupancy of vacation rental unit(s) shall be limited to more more than two (2) individuals per efficiency unit, when rented as a vacation rental unit subject to the provisions of Monroe County Ordinance No. 004-1997.
  15. Review of this permit did not consider the existence of valid private deed restrictions, restrictive covenants or other restrictions of record which may otherwise legally prohibit the use of the dwelling unit for vacation rental purposes.

Violations Warning

Violations of any of the vacation rental regulations consitiutes a violation of Monroe County Code, punishable as Second Degree misdemeanor and is also grounds for immediate termination of the leased premises and criminal penalties under Florida Statutes 509.151 (“Defrauding an In-keeper”).

ACT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2014 ENACTED BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

“An act relating to the regulation of public lodging establishments and public food service establishments; amending  s. 509.032, F.S.; revising the permitted scope of local laws, ordinances and regulations regarding vacation rentals; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1.  Subsection (7) of Section 509.032, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

509.032 Duties.

7) PREEMPTION AUTHORITY.

(a) The regulation of public lodging establishments and public food service establishments, including, but not limited to, sanitation standards, inspections, training and testing of personnel, and matters related to the nutritional content and marketing of foods offered in such establishments, is preempted to the State.  This paragraph does not preempt the authority of a local government or a local enforcement district to conduct inspections of public lodging and public food service establishments for compliance with the Florida Building Code and the Florida Fire Prevention Code pursuant to ss. 553.80 and 633.206.

(NOTE: words in italics are deletions / words underlined are additions.

(b) A local law, ordinance, or regulation may not restrict the use of vacation rentals, prohibit vacation rentals or regulate the duration or frequency of rental of vacation rentals based solely on their classification, use or occupancy.  This paragraph does not apply to any local law, ordinance or regulation adopted on or before June 1, 2011.

(c) Paragraph (b) does not apply to any local law, ordinance, or regulation exclusively clusively relating to property valuation as a criterion for vacation rental if the local law, ordinance, or regulation is required to be approved by the state land planning agency pursuant to an area of critical state concern designation.

Section 2.  This Act shall be effective July 1, 2014

OUTLINE SUMMARIZING SHORT-TERM RENTAL COMPLAINTS IN DR. CONWAY’S 77 PAGE DOCUMENT ADDRESSED TO THE IRC COMMISSIONERS

Indian River County Case Report

12/27/2014: Criminal Mischief / Trespass

2340 S. Highway A1A, Vero Beach

Indian River County Case Report

12/29/2014: Criminal Mischief / Trespass

No Address

Indian River County Case Report

5/6/2015: Trespass

2340 S. Highway A1A, Vero Beach

Indian River County Case Report

6/13/2014: Trespass

2355 23rd. Street SE, Vero Beach

8/28/2013 correspondence to Vero Beach City Counselor Fletcher reporting 5-8 kids renting a house on Fiddlewood Lane who “placed a ping pong table in the driveway…played drinking games…every day we awoke to broken beer bottles on Fiddlewood, Ocean Drive and …in my driveway.”

8/26/2013 correspondence to Counselors Fletcher and Turner: “I am a full time homeowner and resident in Ambersand Beach. We have a revolving door of vacationers who leave bagged garbage along the road and have made our raccoon population extremely happy. Several evenings the Sheriff’s had to be called because of unlawful fireworks. I have had kayaks stolen.”

8/24/2013 correspondence to Counselor Turner: “Tracy Carroll, across the street, had extended families (six cars) renting for a week two years ago and the next week there were four pick-up trucks in front of her house. And then, there was a business conference where people came and left for a few days (large turnover).

8/24/2013 correspondence to Counselors Turner and Fletcher: “ I was a long term renter…to her short term rental property on Seagrape Lane. The noise, the over parking, the enormous loads of bear bottles and trash left on the street for days is all you need to know…”

8/28/2013 correspondence to Counselors Turner and Fletcher: We are in the North Beach Association. The temporary rentals have 8-15 have cars at houses that are homesteaded but leased to anyone. There are fireworks being shot…garbage left…torn by wild animals and strewn across the street.”

8/26/2013: We are a full-time resident in Ambersome Beach. We have an influx of rentals to our area along with garbage in the street, fireworks on the beach, parked cars everywhere, people trespassing on our dock and fireworks at all hours of the night. I have counted as many as 10 young people packed into one single family home. (This particular correspondence also refers to sex, nudity, urination etc., but we feel that best unsaid).

8/26/2013 correspondence to Counselors Turner and Flescher:: “ I happen to live across the road from a home that has been rented…for over a year now. Multiple complaints to the Coad Enforcement Board resulted in a minor fine of $ 50.”

Indian River County Case Report

3/2/2015

421 Holly Road

“I feel live next to a motel. I have already called the police for late night parties.”

8/31/2013 Correspondence to City Counselors Kramer and Winger: I have personally witnessed overflowing garbage bags, cascading beer bottles piled on the front lawn and vehicles parked on the front lawn of rental homes in Vero Beach.”

3/23/2015: Correspondence to Jim O’Connor: I saw two bald men, approximately 50 years old, sitting by the pool playing Reggie music on speakers.”

Additionally there were 41 letters to City Counselors in favor of an appeal to the Circuit Court decision on August 14, 2013 by the Code Enforcement Board not to uphold short term rental restrictions.


2 thoughts on “The IRC Short-Term Rental Advisory Committees’ Study of “Restrictions” Could be an Easy One

  1. Mr. Thomas Hardy has provided some very valuable information to the citizens of Indian River County. His detailed summary of the County regulations in Monroe Co. Fla regarding controlling activities of short-term “transient vacation house” rentals should be seen as a guidepost for IRC’s County Commission (and their newly appointed Short Term Rental Advisory Committee, headed by Glenn Powell). All of these regulations make sense, and help keep the balance between transients enjoying our beautiful county, and disruptive elements that take advantage and destroy the tranquility and peaceful use of residential property. As pointed out in the letters sent to various public officials (copies provided in Dr. Conway’s input), transient vacation rentals can be very disruptive— if not properly regulated and controlled. The idea of having a full time property manager posted at each location, who is available 24/7 to address problems w/ code enforcement and/or police, is a wonderful idea; as is requiring the manager to keep a list of occupants names and addresses for 3 months; and of course, matching that guest list to occupancy limits on units rented. That will help address the excess parking issues that arise when 12 people occupy a 3 BR house, sleeping on living room sofas and cots in the kitchen. Other code ord. provisions should include safety railing for disabled, checks that balcony is structurally sound, all utilities and esp. electric wiring are up to code, smoke detectors are working in all bedrooms, fire extinguishers are mounted near kitchen, septic tank is adequate for the occupancy limit, and so forth. There are liabilities both the owner and county might incur by allowing ‘guests’ in uninspected and unsafe motel-like structures. These ‘transient public lodging businesses’ need to be properly licensed before offering any rooms for daily or weekly rent, to pay required state sales tax and county ‘transient occupancy tax’ (aka bed tax), and to be inspected on start up and then on a regular basis by County code enforcement in lieu of Fla State DBPR inspectors. The County Commission’s vote today to establish special parking requirements on ‘vacation house rental property’ is a step in the right direction. But many more steps will be needed to get this growing ‘business’ under control, while balancing the need of business investors running these establishments against members of local residential neighborhoods’ rights to safety, security and tranquility.

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  2. Pingback: Thank You. Indian River County Short-Term Rentals | Vero Communiqué

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