Proposed Rental Ordinance Update?

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

  1. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    You always pose such good questions. :clap: (I mean this ! )

    SWGB does have a point about the multi-jurisdictional aspect of "code enforcement". There could actually be as many as three departments involved in enforcement, the Sheriff, the Fire Marshall, and the Building Code enforcement using the county "Code Enforcement" team. There may be others I am not aware of.

    I have reviewed the codes concerning Noise, Parking, Disturbing the Peace, and Residential zoning and they are pretty clear to me. But then what do I know??????

    What is not clear in the code is:

    1. A plan to enforce these laws.

    2. Which departments are clearly responsible for enforcing the laws.

    3. What the process is to enforce these laws.

    4. How the three departments respond to a citizen complaint as a cross departmental "team" to an "event house" site for example, to put a legal stop on the noise, parking and disturbing the peace issues immediately, issue "tickets" as required under the law for any fire safety issues (like occupancy), all the while the Code Enforcement department writes up any violations to any land use codes (i.e. a "business" operating commercially within a residential area in violation of the law).

    Maybe the issue here is the lack of a plan to enforce the existing ordinances and a process to do so. Also, somewhere within this situation, there may also be a "lack of available resources" issue within the three departments to implement a 3-pronged approach to enforcement. I am now just theorizing on this last issue/point.

    I will run off and re-review the "codes" once again and "take a step back" try to form a lay opinion on the potential vagueness of the codes (or not). As I said before, they seem pretty clear to me. But then I have read them more than once.

    P.S. Maybe we NEED MORE COUNTY SIGNS referencing the Noise and Parking ordinances so that visitors understand how we Walton Countonians expect them to act while they are here? (Ok, you can stop laughing now)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  2. UofL

    UofL Beach Fanatic

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    And we always have to ask, why has something been proposed? Anymore, it's not for the citizens/consumers' well being. Anything and everything in America is done so that someone will profit. Who profits from this? That's why it is being done.
    Something as simple as here in Louisville (maybe KY.) you have can have free bourbon tastings and up to a point, free beer tastings, but now there is a charge for the beer tastings. I am of the bourbon industry, but expect that the industry lobbied to have one of our top industries to be protected.
    That's how America works now. Have a voice; make some money. A few profit, the rest suffer. Sorry about being cynical.
    Counting down, 3 weeks!!! Ellen
     
  3. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    There is ALWAYS a money trail. Either some party is making money or saving money.
     
  4. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Ultimately it's the Sheriff's Department's responsibility across the board as the ultimate authority in the county (read your Florida constitutions). So I would think that would be the easiest solution. Especially given that even drunk people, usually, respond pretty well to law enforcement over the fire department.
     
  5. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    Here are some existing county ordinances that might be used to address the noise, parking, and concerns about "commercial businesses" operating in residential areas.


    Parking Ordinance - Code of Walton County - Chapter 20 - Traffic and Vehicles Section
    Municode.com | Online Library

    Addresses parking on private property.

    My Take - Do not park on property owned by others, or you get ticketed. And you might not be able to find your car after the party as it would be sitting in an impound lot.

    Noise Ordinance - http://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1367

    My Take - Do not make noise that surpasses the standards detailed in the code or you get a ticket and must cease and desist.


    Beach Noise Ordinance - Section 4. Regulation of Use and Conduct on the beach and water bodies - Item I - Sound Amplification
    http://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1366

    My Take - Do not use sound amplication devices as detailed in the code that cause one to hear the sound emitted within 100 feet or you get ticketed and must cease and desist. (in my view this would include sound amplification devices that are operated on "beach front" properties as they do sit on what is referred to as the "Beach" and in many cases a beach property "owned" by the property owner)


    Chapter 22 - Waterways, Article III Waterways - Section 22-40 - Regulation of Use and Conduct on the Beach

    (j) Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct. No person shall commit such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engage in brawling or fighting, or engage in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct.

    My Take - Act like a decent human being and be considerate of others versus acting like an idiot, or you get a ticket and must cease and desist.


    Commercial or Workspace Uses in Residential Preservation Areas - Item E - Compatibility with Existing Neighborhoods on Page 14 of the Walton County Land Development Code -

    http://fl-waltoncounty.civicplus.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=2115

    My Take - If you are running a commercial business in a residential neighborhood area that was not approved by the county prior to the neighborhood's development being approved or after such development, then shut it down or the County Code Enforcement will do so through ticketing and the Courts.
     
  6. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    IMO it's rather hard to have Code Enforcement be the enforcer since they don't work any of the hours when weddings would be taking place.

    When the enforcer works banker's hours M-F, and the problem occurs at night and on the weekends, it's a giant DUH!
     
  7. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    Scooterbug take a look at this:

    http://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1722

    Obviously this approach is not effective.

    Code Enforcement's hours of operation are 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. How is that supposed to work when citizens, visitors and "businesses" are to comply with the codes "24 x 7 x 365".

    Meanwhile the Code Enforcement department is to be "pro-active" in the scenic corridor and beaches per this memo:

    http://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1632

    Why would the citizens of this county want to assign Code Enforcement the responsibility to enforce the County Codes, when this department does not have the time or resources to address citizen complaints? Complaints, of which, are required to be either submitted in person or in writing "after the fact" when in actually some cases need to be enforced in "real time"?

    In all of this, where are the "Pro-Active" and "Education-based" enforcement techniques to prevent these Noise and Parking violations. You know, the techniques that are detailed as the tools used by Code Enforcement to encourage "voluntary" compliance as per the abovementioned memo?

    Furthermore, since when is compliance with the law "voluntary"? Compliance with the law is to expected and in some cases should be demanded through "real time" enforcement action.

    Now, some citizens are pushing the county to create new legislation for Short Term Rentals and Wedding Venues and assigning partial responsibility of enforcement to "code enforcement" and the fire marshal?

    How do these citizens really expect that their rights to "Peace and Quiet" will be met? By a visit from Santa Clause? Or maybe the Easter Bunny?

    Without a clear and visible enforcement of the existing laws by the county, these citizens do not have a chance to expect that their individual rights will be protected through this new legislation.

    In the end, the proposed legislation, no matter what it is called, no matter what is contained within it, if it is to be enforced in the same manner as existing laws, then this whole legislative process is a waste of tax payers' money.

    I guess my rant is nothing more than me agreeing with your "Duh" point Scooterbug.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  8. Morning Glory

    Morning Glory Beach Comber

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    Proposed Rental Ordinance

    I have one other question for them; can't you find somthing constructive to do?

    The BCC will never pass the ordinance, just keep delaying it until they actually have to do something. They do have someone pushing for it because he owns a building that can accomodate large weddings and his wife just happens to be an event planner. The building is located at the corner of Chat Holley and 331.
     
  9. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Do you have any proof of that? My understanding is that individual doesn't wield the power they used too. :dunno:
     
  10. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I profit in no way from weddings being held in commercial spaces instead of residential neighborhoods, I just think that the problem has become enough of a stupid nuisance that it needs to be effectively dealt with.

    Of course, there's a list of about 30 ongoing issues that I think need to be effectively dealt with because I am a black/white person, not a 86 shades of gray complicated by $$ and connections person. :roll:
     
  11. Elephant Child

    Elephant Child Beach Lover

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    What about parking...
     
  12. Elephant Child

    Elephant Child Beach Lover

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    There are two excellent Letters to the editor in the Walton Sun this week...about this...and I think it will pass as there are many folks who are tired of sharing their neighborhood.
     
  13. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    Is this some sort of "inside" information on the BCC's actual position?
     
  14. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    And while you're at it, enforce the ordinances that say no glass or littering on the beach. I mean it.

    If someone with the authority to write tickets actually gave some out for infringements, I bet most of these problems would be solved in one season. If violators had to actually pay a fine, they will tell their friends, and they'll tell their friends. It's a social networking thing. Instead, if anything, people infringing current ordinances seem to me to get either a light talking-to or at worst a stern lecture. There's no actual incentive other than good manners to obey most of these ordinances, and no punishment when broken. And there's a decreasing level of good manners out there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  15. Morning Glory

    Morning Glory Beach Comber

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    Proposed Rental Ordinance

    My proof is that I know first hand how this works, always has and always will.

    If you want to see what kind of power this individual has just request the records on the Chat Holley Road/331 right of way acquisition (the records are BLUE all over).

    You are correct, he has fallen from grace with the BCC. So now that he has lost his clout the BCC will delay this as long as they can.
     
  16. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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    Any ideas how to end it once and for all? Maybe that answer needs to be offline!
     
  17. WaltonIsOne

    WaltonIsOne Beach Lover

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  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Local restaurants are going to close due to lack of business if we require receptions to be held in restaurants and banquet spaces?

    Property values will plummet because the only option besides 40+ weddings a year, parking problems, and noise as your neighbor is a foreclosure?

    Wedding guests bring more business in to stores and restaurants than all the tourists, locals, and second homeowners combined?

    Yes, I agree that the wedding industry creates income for many local businesses.

    But I don't see why requiring receptions and other COMMERCIAL functions to be held in the many available commercial venues totally negates that.
     
  19. Lake Eastern

    Lake Eastern Beach Lover

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    Read the opinion piece very carefully and was sad that the writer was so unaware of the Bay, Walton, Okaloosa benefits of the military installations and the contractor employees that truly are the mainstays of our local economies. To say we are 100% dependent on tourism was definitely over the top. The military installations brought a diverse population to our area, the opportunity for many to receive high paying employment with retirement that was not dependent upon the weather conditions. Their children brought federal impact funds to our schools, and many of the professional people had spouses who taught in our schools. Their friends and family provided us with an ongoing tourist base. Bases on the east and west of Walton are currently expanding and it behooves us to provide zoning that allows them to buy with the knowledge that they can leave their families for follow on assignments or retain a home for retirement with the expectation that it will be what they accepted in neighborhood parameters. Code enforcement is a good thing!
     
  20. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    I agree with this, and I think the opinion piece was a lot of puff and hyperbole which doesn't help either side of the argument.

    However, this ordinance is trying to do a lot more than just regulate location of wedding venues. The occupancy thresholds, registration requirements, and per-person square footage minimums for short-term rentals have nothing to do with whether wedding businesses should be staging reception parties in residential neighborhoods.

    I still don't understand why existing noise/parking/etc. ordinances are not sufficient to keep wedding parties from infringing on neighbors rights to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their own properties.
     

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