MORE LETTERS: Condo owners oppose rental agreement
Thought issue put to rest
(This letter was sent to Marco Island City Council members and copied to the Sun Times.)
It is with great discord that again, we are writing a letter to you on an issue we thought you put to rest via a vote by the majority of members during the March board meeting. We can't help to note that your timing to "reconsider" is being held at a time when most of the condominium/HOA members have left the island for the summer months, making it impossible for us to once again fill your board room.
Our position remains the same. The Seabreeze Condominium board of directors and unit owners are strongly opposed to the proposed rental ordinance that seeks to regulate condominiums on Marco Island. Our condominium, first established in 1967 as one of the original rental properties on the island, has approved documents that are in compliance with all state and local bylaws.
These documents, and our rules and regulations, clearly define the systems in place to address issues pertaining to health and safety, unit occupancy, noise and disorderly conduct, parking, and tenant, vehicle and even bicycle registration. All of these matters are now very competently enforced by a volunteer board of directors that should not be required to take on additional responsibilities resulting from passage of a new, cumbersome ordinance originally intended to alleviate problems arising from short term rental of homes in residential neighborhoods. This is clearly government overreach.
The problem is not with condominium rentals. Condominiums are an economic lifeline to this community and should be valued as such.
Again, we respectfully ask you to support us by excluding all condominium associations from this proposed ordinance once and for all. The voice of the condominium owners and Boards should be heard!
Thomas W. Carter
President, board of directors
Sea Breeze Apartments Condominium
City seeking to become dictatorship
My name is Donna Harrington and I live at Island Manor Condominium Association located on North Collier Boulevard and previously worked in their office as I do now at The Mariner of Marco Island Inc. Condominium Association.
Condo associations have rules and regulations that govern how problems are to be handled. They also take care of any problems that arise without having to call the police. Most associations, like The Mariner and Island Manor, also have strict rules in regards to rentals (i.e. 30 continuous days) and 90 pernent of these rentals are returning "snowbirds" who have been renting here for ages and come down to enjoy our bit of paradise.
It is my understanding that originally this ordinance was to take care of problems caused from home owners who rent out on a weekly basis and who don't take care of their property or care who they rent to. I am also sure that there are already city laws and ordinances that cover problems that arise from owners/renters who are not respectful of other people's rights. These laws or ordinances should be imposed upon the violators and should not be imposed on those who abide by the rules.
This ordinance, as it is written, would impose great hardships, both money wise and time wise on innocent owners who already pay taxes to the City. I'm not talking about your million dollar high rises and homes. These are just regular, law abiding, people trying to make ends meet and still be able to afford a bit of paradise by renting their units to assist in paying their bills. This ordinance, which was originally supposed to prevent the "weekly" house rental problems, will force many condo owners to possibly have to sell their properties as the time and cost associated in obtaining all the required fees, inspections, etc. will be too much to handle.
In reading through this proposed ordinance it seems that the city of Marco is looking to become a dictatorship and is not recognizing the rights of others. I hope they will reconsider this ordinance to exclude the condo associations on Marco. I ask them to please don't punish them for the misconduct of others.
Councilmen seek new tax revenue
Why do some Marco City council members persist in trying to include condos in the new rental ordinance? Why, because they are seeking new tax revenue to expand the cities bureaucracy. Mark my words.
By including condos in the rental ordinance they are moving with the objective of ultimately passing a "city bed tax" or city tourism tax. Yes, this new city tax would be in addition to the county's current 4 percent tourism tax and state's 6 percent tax.
This all started because of a few noisy home rentals and a lack of city code enforcement. It has now evolved into a ridiculous attempt by a few to regulate a class of people, condo owners, who do not need to be regulated, bureaucratically burdened or taxed.
If passed, a class action lawsuit may be what is needed to open the council's eyes. Condos must be exempted. Leave the ordinance alone.
President, The Chalet of San Marco
Condo rentals never an issue
As an owner of a condo in Marco for over 15 years, I would like to express my concerns regarding the City Council's newly proposed rental ordinances.
1- Condominium rentals are not and have never been an issue since all condominium associations have documents, by-laws and strict rules that take care of problem renters. As a matter of fact these rules give them more leeway than the proposed ordinance will have on the issue of problem rental. In essence the condominium association and management take care of these issues very effectively.
2- . Section 2 – Sec.X.2.1(b) allows a blanket registration for all units within a building. However, such blanket registration would require significant reporting by the association so electing, at a cost to all unit owners, many of which do not rent their units out. Therefore, this provision would appear not useful to most condominium buildings or developments, and, again, this is not an exclusion as already voted on at the 3/16/2015 meeting.
3- Section 2 – Sec.X.2.2's requires building code and annual fire inspections that are already performed in Condominiums under other Ordinances. This appears to be a duplication of requirements, and higher fees, for any and all Condominiums on the Island.
4- The original intent of the rental Ordinance was to "fix" the problem by "transient" rentals which are defined by Florida Statutes as less than 30 days. This ordinance has now grown to all rentals of less than 1 year, therefore adding properties that have not caused a problem.
Based on the points above, all condominiums in Marco Island should either be "excluded" from this ordinance or at least, given the option to "opt out" with no cost or any other bureaucratic process. In addition, reduce the scope of the ordinance to the original problem to be addressed, which were, and are, the transient rentals of less than 30 days.
Duplication of efforts
As a resident of the Monterrey, Cape Marco, I am writing to express support for the exclusion of condominiums in the proposed rental ordinance now being reconsidered.
Such oversight by the city of Marco Island is a duplication of effort given the existence of condominium boards and management that already ensure properties are properly maintained, managed, and do not create a potential for nuisance for neighboring properties. Noise or nuisance from residents are addressed by the Board and annual fire alarm and fire sprinkler inspections currently take place.
The city of Marco Island should refrain from engaging in inefficient government involvement.
Already have enough rules and regulations
We are owners at at the Duchess Condominium Association (220 S. Collier) and the San Marco Residences (291 S. Collier) and year-around residents of Marco Island since 1995.
It was disappointing and frustrating for us to hear that the council in its last meeting voted to "reconsider" the rental ordinance previously approved; specifically concerning the exemption, or not, of the condominium associations. We already have in our life an abundance of rules and regulations coming out of Washington and Tallahassee negatively affecting our quality of life; and certainly don't need the city government joining in.
As we all know by now, condominium associations have well defined and practical rental rules and regulations which essentially meet the requirements of the owners of each particular association. Additional rental regulations for condominiums are not needed and will constitute a burden for management and an additional cost to the owners. Essentially "if it is not broken, don't fix it".
We suggest that any new regulations be focused toward specifically solving the problems that apparently exist in parts of the individual housing rental market and that condominium associations be exempted from the proposed rental ordinance.
Andrea and Jose E. Lima