Vacation Rental Registration Citywide – Public Hearing Scheduled for January 2nd

City Commission Looks to Take a Strong Stand on the Uncontrolled Spread of Vacation Rentals – Public Hearing Re-Scheduled for January 2, 2024.

 City Commission Begins Moving Vacation Rental Registration Citywide

In a vote of 4-1, the City Commission on Monday, October 2, 2023, directed Staff and the City Attorney to draft an amendment to Chapter 34.5 – Vacation Rentals to apply ‘citywide”.   This action was in response to tremendous outcry from the non-island neighborhoods.  As reported by Staff and validated by the neighborhood leaders, owners of properties throughout Sarasota are converting once used longer term rentals into short term rentals.  Data also was presented that showed a significant number of these are unlicensed as required by the State of Florida and are not paying the required taxes.  The safety of persons occupancy these short-term rentals was also of concern.  All of those issues were addressed with the Vacation Rental ordinance that was passed in 2021 but only applied to the barrier islands.

Does the Vacation Rental “registration” ordinance we have on the barrier islands (Chapter 34.5) restore neighborhoods.  No, it does not.  What it does do is help level the playing field for the Vacation Rental businesses, increases the safety of the users of those short-term rentals to minimum standards, identifies the true cost of business for those hosting short term occupancies and gives the neighbors a chance at mitigating those disturbances that threaten their rights to peace and quiet in their home and the community that their neighborhood offers. 

City Commission Takes Strong Stand on Vacation Rental Owner Claims

In a related issue, on Monday, October 2, 2023, the City Attorney laid out the background of 3 Harris Act claims that may be filed against the City claiming the taking of property with the occupancy limits included in the Vacation Rental Ordinance. The City Commission directed the City Attorney to fight those claims. 

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