Free Image of Indian River County Short Term Rental Advisory Committee
INSIDEVERO HAS DOGGEDLY BEEN COVERING THE ISSUE OF SHORT-TERM RENTALS IN INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, WHICH, AS OPPOSED TO VERO BEACH, ALLOWS SHORT TERM RENTALS FOR LESS THAN 30 DAYS.
Has there been any progress since the Committee was formed in August 2015?
InsideVero has posted at least five articles on the issue and we could only find one reference to the short-term rental regulations in Monroe County. Please correct us if we’re wrong, but my recollection is that even before the Committee was formed and committee members selected in May 2015, the County Commissioners directed their staff NOT to study the Monroe County regulations.
The Monroe County regulations are outlined below, but here is some of the interesting chatter on this issue as it has been posted on InsideVero:
On January 17 columnist Milt Thomas reported that the Committee’s meeting on January 15, 2016 was “another sometimes fractious meeting.” Glen Powell (who has 19 rental properties) was elected Committee Chairman “who gave a 25 minute speech that he called an invocation,” which a reader referred to as a “commercial for himself and his rental properties.”
(There were 26 reader comments to this article.)
Mr. Thomas further wrote that Mr. Powell’s “conduct as Chairman was in sharp contrast to the out-of-control December meeting, where he presided, although unofficially.”
County Administrator Joe Baird, County Attorney Dylan Reingold and Vero Beach Mayor Jay Kramer attended the meeting, but a reader commented that they “left the circus after 30 minutes.”
InsideVero publisher Mark Schumann commented that “The County’s Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee is an example of an industry being allowed to regulate itself.”
Another reader, John Church, wrote: “Were there any conclusions reached at this meeting about short-term rentals.”
There was, however, an extensive discussion on whether or not vacation rentals have an impact on property values.
In advance of this January 15 meeting, InsideVero had posted the following broadcast email from the Indian River Neighborhood Association:
“This is the committee which was appointed by the County Commissioners to explore the impacts of short-term rentals and make recommendations to the commissioners on how to fix the multitude of problems these rentals cause. They’ve gotten off track in their last few meetings. They seem to be less focused on our quality of life and public safety and more bogged down with procedure and minutia.”
Then in another post on January 16, David Hunter, in a Guest Commentary wrote that Mr. Powell “persuaded the Commissioners that” short-term rentals were “helpful to tourism.”
On January 13, InsideVero cited their December 18, 2015 report that on-line rental agents tripping.com and airbnb.com had a combined total of 686 short-term rental listings in Indian River County.
On December 18, 2015 Mr. Thomas, after the Committee’s third meeting, quoted Commissioner Joe Flesher as saying: “I am thoroughly impressed are what they are accomplishing.”
And most recently, on January 21, InsideVero reported that “South Barrier Island residents are asking the City to study the costs and benefits of annexing the unincorporated area of the South Barrier Island into the City of Beach,” which has a regulation against renting a home for less than 30 days.
Here’s our question:
Why hasn’t there been any discussion of Monroe County’s Vacation Rental Permit Regulations and Conditions, as outlined below. A careful study of these regulations and conditions would be more beneficial than having meetings a reader referred to as a circus.
SPECIAL VACATION RENTAL PERMIT REGULATIONS AND CONDITIONS
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The tenant’s agreement with the rules of conduct shall be posted in a conspicuous location at each vacation rental unit.
- 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.
- 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 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”).