Proposed Rental Ordinance Update?

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by wrobert, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    Short term rental ordinance

    I heard about this a couple of days ago and finally got around to getting a copy. You guys are going to love this. The request to set up the first public workshop is October 26th. After reading I think you will agree a workshop on this ordinance is a waste of time, but your commissioners need to know your thoughts. This is just the initial DRAFT and no public comment has yet to have been taken.

    ORDINANCE 2010-__
    AN ORDINANCE OF WALTON COUNTY,FLORIDA; ESTABLISHING REGULATIONS AND PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS FOR SHORT-TERM RENTALS OF SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNITS; PROVIDING FOR AUTHORITY, PURPOSE, DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR REGISTRATION AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS; PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES, JUDICIAL CONSTRUCTION, SEVERABILITY, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
    WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Walton County, Florida (Board) is concerned with the potential harmful affects short-term rentals of single-family detached residential dwelling units have on the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of Walton County; and

    WHEREAS, there is an interest in protecting the quality of life of the residents and value of property in Walton County; and

    WHEREAS, the Board finds it is in the best interests of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Walton County to establish reasonable regulations and permitting requirements for short-term rentals of single-family detached residential dwelling units.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of County Commissioners of Walton County, Florida that:

    Section 1. Authority. Section 125.01, Florida Statutes, and the State Constitution authorize the enactment of this ordinance.

    Section 2. Purpose. The Board recognizes that the unregulated short-term rental of single-family detached residential dwelling units by seasonal residents uniquely impacts certain neighborhoods within the unincorporated areas of Walton County. Therefore, it is necessary to provide reasonable means for citizens of Walton County to mitigate impacts created by such rentals as set forth in this ordinance.

    Section 3. Definitions. For the purpose of this Ordinance, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:
    Owner shall mean the person in whom is vested the ownership, dominion, or title of property.

    Responsible party shall mean the property owner or his/her designee to be called upon to answer for the maintenance of the property and the conduct and acts of seasonal residents of the subject property.

    Seasonal resident shall mean guests, tourists, lessees, vacationers, or others who lease or rent a residential property for valuable consideration for a period of time between one (1) day to no more than six (6) months.

    Short-term rental shall mean any occupancy of single-family detached residential dwelling units for a period of time between one (1) day to no more than six (6) months.

    Section 4. Registration required. It shall be unlawful for any person to allow another person to occupy any single-family detached residential dwelling unit as a seasonal resident within the County, or offer such rental services within the County, unless the person has been registered with the County in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.

    Section 5. Application required. Every person required to procure a registration under the provisions of this ordinance shall submit a form application for such registration to the County. Applications for registration shall set forth and/or include at a minimum:


    • Physical address, including lot, block, and subdivision name, of the single-family detached residential dwelling unit offered for rental.
    • Name, address, and phone number of owner of the single-family detached residential dwelling unit.
    • Name, address, and 24-hour emergency contact phone number of responsible party for the single-family detached residential dwelling unit.
    • The phone number for the responsible party shall be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a party with the authority to address or coordinate problems associated with the single-family detached residential dwelling unit.
    • Acknowledgements by owner of the following:
    a. That all vehicles must be parked in the driveway of the single-family detached residential dwelling unit and clear of all county right-of-way.
    b. That it shall be unlawful to allow or make any noise or sound which exceed the limits set forth in _____________.
    c. That a sign will be posted and maintained on the single-family detached residential dwelling unit in accordance with _______________.
    d. That other properties (not owned by the owner) are not jointly shared commodities and should not be considered available for public use.

    • Proof of owners current ownership of single-family detached residential dwelling unit.

    Section 6. Registration are non-transferable. No registration issued under this ordinance shall be transferred or assigned or used by any person other than the one to whom it is issued, or at any location other than the one for which it is issued.

    Section 7. Expiration of registration. All registrations issued under this ordinance shall be valid for no more than one (1) year, and all registrations shall expire on March 1 of each year.

    Section 8. Responsible party required. The owner shall appoint a person to serve as the local responsible party for service of notices as are specified herein, and notices given to the responsible party shall be sufficient to satisfy any requirement of notice to the owner. The owner shall notify the County Administrator or his designee in writing of the appointment within five (5) days of being required to make such appointment, and shall thereafter notify the County Administrator or his designee of any change of responsible party within fifteen (15) days of such change. Further, it is hereby made the affirmative duty of the responsible party to:

    1. Inform all seasonal residents prior to occupancy of applicable Walton County codes and ordinances concerning noise, parking, garbage, and common area usage;
    2. See that the provisions of this ordinance are complied with and promptly address any violations of this ordinance or any violations of law, which may come to the attention of the responsible party;
    3. Be available with authority to address or coordinate problems with the rental of the single-family detached dwelling unit twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week;
    4. Be situated close enough to the single-family detached dwelling unit as to service emergency calls within one (1) hour of notification; and
    5. Keep available a register of all guests, which shall be open to inspection by Walton County Code Enforcement Officers at all times.

    Section 9. False information. It shall be a violation of this ordinance for any person to give any false or misleading information in connection with the application for registration required under this ordinance.

    Section 10. Revocation. Any registration issued pursuant to this ordinance may be denied, revoked, or suspended by the County for any violation of this ordinance, any other County ordinance, regulation, code, or state law. Such denial, revocation, or suspension is in addition to any penalty provided herein.

    Section 11. Posting of sign. Prior to the owner allowing another person to occupy the single-family detached dwelling unit as a seasonal resident, owner shall post a sign on the property meeting the following requirements:


    • The sign must be prominently placed on the property so that the required content of the sign shall be legible as viewed from the public right-of-way;
    • Such sign shall not be larger than eighteen (18) inches by twelve (12) inches and not smaller than sixteen (16) inches by ten (10) inches in size;
    • The sign must clearly indicate the name, and twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week emergency contact phone number of the responsible party for the single-family detached dwelling unit. If the responsible party phone number and rental contact phone number are different, the sign shall clearly indicate both phone numbers;
    • The sign must be continuously on the property of the single-family detached dwelling unit during any period the registration has not expired; and
    • The sign must clearly indicate the expiration date of the registration.

    Section 12. Penalty for Violation. In addition to any and all additional remedies available at law, any owner violating any provision of this ordinance may be directed to:
    1. Cease and desist such violation;
    2. Upon a finding of a violation of this ordinance, pay a civil penalty not less than $250.00 for first offense and $500 for repeat violations;
    3. Every day a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

    Section 13. Judicial Construction. NO provision of this ordinance shall be construed to impair any common law or statutory cause of action, or legal remedy there from.
    Section 14. Severability. Should any word, phrase, sentence, or section of this ordinance be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal, void, unenforceable, or unconstitutional, then such shall be severed from this ordinance and the remainder of the ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.

    Section 15. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect as provided by law.
     
  2. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    It appears to do nothing regarding Weddings etc. and some of the undesirable affects they may cause. Also, it would appear the 1 day to six months time frame is ridiculous. Practically every renter in Walton County would have to get a permit every year. From what I see...back to the drawing board.
     
  3. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Maybe I missed it, but exactly which department handles this or do I simply apply at "the County"?
     
  4. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    I am not sure either. Seems to be something that will be decided later.

    What about all the signs that have to be put up along 30-A now. When you get a complex where some are short term rentals and others are long term residents, do you just stick a bunch of signs out front for each group?

    The code board has heard three wedding cases that I recall. The rulings have always been along the line of stop doing commercial activity in a residential area as per the Comp Plan/LDC. I am not seeing anywhere that this ordinance addresses that problem.
     
  5. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Why not an ordinance that simply states a single family residence home owned by a corporate entity who's sole purpose is to rent the home for profit is nor permitted?

    Oh that's right corporate entities are citizens in the US so they have the same rights to rent their single family residence. I wonder if the lawsuits this will spawn will help or hurt tourism? Any press is good press right?
     
  6. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Does mean that even in Watercolor and Watersound where they don't even allow "for sale" signs (I assume to avoid the visual clutter), each house that rents will need a sign? :roll:

    Don't homeowners associations have any say-so in signage? Ours doesn't allow any signs in the neighborhood.:dunno:
     
  7. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    All very good points. But can a HOA prohibit something required by local ordinance? I guess if you do not have a sign you can no longer rent. This is why your comments need to go to your commissioner now and not after it is up for a vote. This ordinance is bananas. b-a-n-a-n-a-s
     
  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Is this simply for raising money through application/permit/penalty fees?
     
  9. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    I thought it was being done to deal with the wedding issues. But after reading it not sure what the long term plan is.
     
  10. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    This ordinance is nothing but an unnecessary government intrusion into it's citizens affairs. In other places this stuff is called communism.
     
  11. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    What is it with our local government and their sign fetish? :roll:

    If it's a short term rental it should already be on file for tax reasons.

    If it's a problematic short term rental I am either calling the number on the sign out front or the cops.

    If it's a residential lot, clarify that using it for commercial purposes (weddings) is not allowed.

    And of none of the above appeal to you, buy/live in a neighborhood that doesn't allow short term rentals.
     
  12. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Well, this would suddenly make my job easier. Or obsolete. :eek:

    Seriously...whose full-time job will it be to enforce this? Though compliance is increasing, there are still a lot of owners who don't want to come forward and register to collect a tax that under normal circumstances doesn't come out of their own pocket, even if it means a lien on their property. What is going to make them comply with this?

    I hate to say this, but if you're going to require a license, require one of all businesses. There, I said it. Throw a noodle at me.

    Perhaps I will still be employed tomorrow. :roll:
     
  13. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    I just hope the RINOS on the board resist the temptation to add yet another unneeded layer of regulations to the already bloated county government.
     
  14. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Someone's still gotta compile the reports and deposit the checks. I think you're safe. Even so I'd stay quite and start playing Solitaire since you are statutorily required, let them realize that a few years after you're retired. ;-)
     
  15. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    Frankly, this whole part sounds like a violation of our Constitutional Rights under the 4th Amendment, specifically one's Rights to Privacy regarding their home (information privacy) The rest of the ordinance is redundant if you rent your home short term, you should be collecting tax revenue and all the information is already registered with the County and State Tax Revenue Departments.

    Maybe next, they will require you to list below your name and telephone # the name of your first born son. People may want to consider putting the blood of a Spring lamb over their door. :roll:
     
  16. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Cornering the Jewish market are you?
     
  17. Just Curious

    Just Curious Beach Fanatic

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    Didn't this all start because people were complaining about people misusing their property? I don't think the commissioners just decided to pick one of the most controversial issues out of nowhere. This started when people complained to their commissioners and they are now attempting to deal with the problem. If you don't like the FIRST draft go to the meetings and offer constructive input, or better yet stop complaining to government about a problem and then complain more when they listen and try to fix it.
     
  18. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Huh? :blink:
     
  19. Just Curious

    Just Curious Beach Fanatic

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    my point is that people are already crucifying the bcc before there has even been a meeting on the draft. this all originated from the people not the government. if you don't like their response to your complaining go to the meeting and participate, or just don't complain to them in the first place. sometimes the medicine is worse than the sickness.
     
  20. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Well considering there's another thread where the complaining citizen wrote the ordinance I'm surprised the home owners and rental owners behind this didn't do the same thing, or they did and this is what they came up with. :dunno:
     

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