Marco Island DRAFT: Rental Housing Ordinance

The city of Marco Island is considering adding strict rules for short term rentals. In an effort to reduce nuisance vacation renters, the City of Marco Island is considering requiring every owner of a vacation rental home to make an application for resort dwelling certificate.

Among other things, the application will require the owner sign an affidavit stating that he or she is aware of all City of Marco Island resort dwelling regulations, possible fire inspection and requirements for rental agents acting on the owners behalf.

The certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous place and be renewed on a annual basis.

The draft ordinance includes language like:

The owner of record shall be available twenty-four hours a day seven days a week to a4dress complaints or other issues of noncompliance with

The owner of record shall use his or her best and diligent efforts to insure that occupants of resort dwellings do not disrupt the quiet ejoyment of City of Marco Island residents this Code The owner of record or authorized agent shall upon receiving notification of a complaint from the Marco Island Police Department Fire-Rescue department or Code Compliance Division regarding use of the resort dwelling by its occupants respond within two hours resolve the complaint thereafter use best efforts to prevent the continued occurrence or recurrence of similar complaints by taking appropriate corrective action.

Planning Board members and about 60 residents discussed an ordinance drafted to address about 10 short-term rentals which frequently violate city codes and laws.

The challenge in drafting the ordinance, which began with a citizens’ committee in December 2007, has been solving the relatively isolated problems while preserving the rights of the majority of non-nuisance property owners and renters.

Renters who violate noise, trash, parking and occupancy codes leave town, often without paying the consequences, only to be replaced by new renters who violate the same laws, Police Chief Thom Carr and Chief Code Enforcement Officer Eric Wardle have said.

The draft ordinance, which defines resort dwellings as renting once within seven days or up to six months, received considerable criticism.

Still a work in progress, the ordinance addresses single family and condo rentals. Condos may not last in the ordinance because Islanders, including several victims of rental neighbors, said condos are already governed by owner associations.

Planning Board member Jim Riviere proposed including condominiums so neighborhoods wouldn’t become exclusively rentals and others absent of rentals.

Planning Board member Monte Lazarus requested that comments be about specific changes to the ordinance.

Fines for violations will be the same as other code fines with a maximum of $250 per day for a first offense and $500 per day for repeat violations, according to the current draft.

A nuisance is described as a place which “tends to annoy the community� and is a second degree misdemeanor, according to the statute.

Marco Island Fire Chief Mike Murphy cited Florida Statute 509 saying that fire inspections should be required in the city ordinance, and the fire department is able to provide them.

Murphy said the 24-hour per day availability requirement of owners or agents should remain in the new ordinance for safety. He also suggested that occupancy remain the same as required by zoning.

Single family zones allow a maximum of two people per bedroom plus two additional occupants.

Conditional use permits require public notice, neighbor approval and approval from the Community Development Director, Olmsted.

View draft ordinance and proposed changes submitted by Community Development Director Steve Olmsted.

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