Proposed Rental Ordinance Update?

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

  1. Elephant Child

    Elephant Child Beach Lover

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    solve an issue that is being created by less than a half dozen property owners.

    I think you may have your numbers wrong...there are a lot of HOME OWNERS that live full time next to these rental homes and I think they also have rights too.
     
  2. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    Sorry if I missed the answer if posted already, but if one rents a home for a week, that home being beach front,and gets the proper permitting for a 40+ attendee beach wedding, that they would be precluded from having the reception at the home? Thanks!
     
  3. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    While the ordinance doesn't actually exclude you from having a wedding, it's a work around to prevent homes in residential areas from being used as wedding houses.

    To answer your question, if you could find a house that slept 40+ you could have the reception at the home as long as you didn't exceed the occupancy limit. I only know of one house that could hold 40+ people and it's not gulf front.
     
  4. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    In the proposed ordinance, under Section 7 Short Term Rentals item A states:

    Is shall be a violation of this ordinance to advertise or operate a "Short Term Rental," located in a residential land use category, for use as a venue for weddings, corporate meetings and retreats, reunions and similar funtions.


    Here is a try at an answer to the question:

    1. If "one" is a person and not a "company" then under the proposed legislation, it might be possible, if there is a "loose" interpretation of the ordinance.

    If there is a "strict" interpretation of the ordinance, then there would be no chance.

    But, let us use a "loose" intepretation and assume that "one" is a person, not a corporation.

    2. One could rent an 8 bedroom home which is at least 4000 square feet or larger in which one could have up to 20 people sleep in the home. (2 per bedroom=16, plus 4 = 20)

    3. If the house can sleep 20, then one can have double the number of people visiting the house for the reception. So that is 40. You could have the wedding reception.

    But........under a "strict" interpretation of the proposed ordinance;

    It would matter how one interprets the word "Operate". If Operate is interpreted to mean the same as "Use" or "Have", then there is a problem.

    If "Operate" means to "run" the Short Term Rental as a Wedding Venue Business, then one would definitely not be able to have the wedding.

    Confusing, huh?

    Keep in mind, under the loose interpretation of the proposed ordinance, the county's parking, noise, disturbing the peace, and lewd and lascivious conduct ordinances would apply and must be followed.

    And of course, assuming one is a good "neighbor", one would be notifying all of the other property owners living around the rental house that the event was going to take place and that one would have it under control.

    Before the ordinance is enacted, just go for it.

    After the ordinance, well, one might just have to hire an attorney to "interpret" the law to make a decision.

    It is unbelievable.

    It is almost like trying to solve a crime when playing the game of Clue. Only to come up with the game winning solution that it was Colonel Mustard that hit Mrs. Peacock in the head with the candlestick in the Billard Room.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  5. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Since you can't technically get "proper permitting" to hold a commercial function in a residential structure, my guess is no.

    But it's all clear as mud.
     
  6. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Interesting, seeing as fire code only allows the number of people in the unit at any given time that it rents then the ordinance is already violating higher state laws.

    BCC, please just let this die now and save the tax payers money.
     
  7. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    Is a permit, other than a marriage license, needed for a wedding on the beach? I have not heard of this, but maybe someone else knows.

    Regarding the reception, assuming that the home is in a residential area and you are renting for less than a six-month period, I would assume that there would be a violation involved with having the reception at the home, since it would likely be considered related to a wedding or a similar event. That is if the ordinance is approved.

    However, from what I know about code enforcement, the person responsible for the violation would not be you, the renter, but the property owner who allowed their short-term rental home to be used in this manner. I understand that many property owners communicate to renters that they may not hold weddings and receptions on their properties, and I imagine that if the ordinance is passed, more of them would have that policy.
     
  8. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    If your beach gathering has more than 50 people I believe you are required to have a permit from WCSO for public gatherings. wrobert mentioned something about this at one time.
     
  9. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    I understand the square footage requirement for short term rental occupancy may go south...and it should. This does not mean any kind of commercial enterprise should be allowed to be conducted in residential venues. They are two entirely different issues but one is trying to be used to solve the other.
     
  10. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    The public hearing for the ordinance has been delayed until April 12 due to an error with the legal notice for the hearing. The hearing will be in conjunction with the BCC meeting on that date, which begins at 4 p.m. and takes place at the South Walton Annex.
     
  11. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    So I have to go out and rent an office space now? My business requires no one to come to my home and only gets loud when I'm trying to communicate the fact that someone has mis-dialed an 800# and is not talking to Chrysler Benefits.
     
  12. MRBS

    MRBS Beach Lover

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    Thanks for the responses. My understanding about beach wedding permitting is that a permit (and sometimes an organizer type outfit) is required to have a wedding on the sand if 50+ will be attending. On the one hand it seems silly to not allow a couple to hold the reception at the rental home after having been married on the beach in front, but on the other hand, I can see how I might be peeved if I was a resident there and my neighbor's renters had receptions all the time. If it only happened rarely, I would be okay with that. I only ask because a sweet friend was hoping to rent a beachfront home for the week (not an inexpensive deal), get married on the beach at sunset (awww) and have the home serve as the reception site for the evening, since grandmas, grandpas and some others might prefer to not stay on the beach after the nuptials. Plus, everyone would need facilities at some point. Will be interested to see how it turns out.
     
  13. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    According to county code, "Home occupations" are allowed to operate within residential areas. Check here on the county web site for more details:

    Walton County, FL - Home Page - Home Occupations
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  14. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    A beach wedding permit is required for wedding on a "Public Beach" or private beach no matter the size.

    Beach Weddings / FAQ / weddings / home march

    The only difference is that weddings that are below 50 people on a beach, the permit is free.

    For more than 50 people, you have to pay for the permit.

    Go here for more info:

    http://www.co.walton.fl.us/Document...utm_medium=bsw-website&utm_source=bsw-listing

    And, there is no need for "security" personnel to be hired, unless an "event" will have more than 100 people.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  15. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    I might suggest to your sweet friend not to rent a house in the same community where some of these notorious "event houses" have been operating. This might just be like adding fuel to the fire. Keep in mind, Walton County is a great place for such events to take place as long as everyone is "neighborly" and follows the "rules". And I am sure that is already in your friends plan.

    I have attended similarly held beach wedding events and receptions just like your friend wants to do, and they have never created any problems that I am aware of.

    Of course, the wedding party was not blairing "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads at 10 pm at night.
     
  16. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    Ordinance Hearing Continued

    Walton?s Certificate of Land Use Ordinance Hearing Continued

    Due to an inadvertent error in publication of the full legal notice required by state statutes, the Certificate of Land Use Compliance Ordinance Public Hearing, originally scheduled for March 22nd will be continued to April 12th by the Walton County Board of Commissioners.

    The purpose of the hearing is to receive public input on a proposed ordinance known by many as the ?Wedding House Ordinance? or the ?Short Term Rental Ordinance.? It is actually entitled ?An Ordinance Of Walton County, Florida, Establishing Regulations And Permitting Requirements For Businesses Located Within The County; Setting Forth Maximum Occupancy Rates; Regulating Parking; Providing Regulations For Short Term Rentals; Requiring Posting Of The Certificate And Fee; And Providing For Inspection, Enforcement, Penalties, Severability, And An Effective Date.? This ordinance in various forms and drafts has been under consideration for some time.

    This Public Hearing will be held at the Walton County Courthouse Annex located at 31 Coastal Centre Blvd., Santa Rosa Beach, FL on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 4:00 P.M., or soon thereafter.
     
  17. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    Mr. Hudson, thank you for the update and additional information.

    Not to sound like I am complaining, but as of last Friday the "official name of the legislation was the "Cerificate of Land Use Compliance Ordinance", (aka the Wedding House Ordinance, aka the Short Term Rental Ordinance).

    The new name sounds as though the legislation is expanding even further. This can not be a good sign. One must wonder what all of this has cost the tax payer since October 2010 when it "appears" it was first discussed in a BCC meeting.

    I can't wait to see the name of the new "agency" that will be established to enforce the "revised" legislation.

    Keep on the look out, I suspect sooner or later the regulation of Lemonade Stands and Yard Sales will be added to the legislation.

    Accept my apology for my sarcasm.

    Can everyone hear me, please please, just enforce the existing county codes for residential property use, fire safety, occupancy, noise and parking and this would be addressed.

    We would then be done with this; the residents would have their peace and quiet they deserve, road safety problems would not exist, and short term renters would be left alone to generate income, and wedding events could take place near or on the beach while respecting the rights to "peace" that residents have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Is it that the current ordinances are vague and they have to pass this one so they have a clear legal right to enforce?

    It seems like all these discussions boil down to a lack of clarity, people bending/breaking the rules, and then lawyers/politics preventing enforcement.
     
  19. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    How are they vague?

    Noise ordinance got hammered out very specifically.

    Fire code is black and white, there's really no gray area there. The only issue with this one is that during busy holiday weekends it puts a strain on limited resources since the fire department apparently can't just send out a chief or deputy chief the whole brigade has to follow. :roll:
     
  20. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I was just trying to figure out why if we already have rules about it, noone is enforcing them.
     

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