Council to consider rental law repeal on Aug. 17

Steve Stefanides

Marco Island City Council member Ken Honecker moved on Monday evening to place the repeal of the suspended rental ordinance on the agenda of the next council meeting on Aug. 17.

This would be the first of two readings for suspension of the controversial ordinance.

By a majority agreement, the council chose to have the repeal item placed on the Aug. 17 agenda.

The action came during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 3.

On July 20, the council voted to put the issue to the voters in 2016.

The July 20 council decision would give voters an opportunity either to accept or reject the recently passed piece of legislation to require the registration and inspection of all dwelling units leased or rented less than 365 days.

When registered, the units would have to undergo health and safety inspections annually and pay a reasonable fee for those inspections and a $75 registration fee.

The ordinance had been vetted over the last year before the city’s planning advisory committee and city council and eventually passed through council initially in early May without condominiums included.

At a later meeting in May, the council moved to amend the ordinance to include condos in the registration process, but still allow them to opt out of the remainder of the requirements should their associations opt for that option.

Shortly after that vote, a political action committee was formed to begin the process of assembling the necessary signatures on petitions to force council either to rescind the ordinance or place it on a ballot for referendum by residents.

That petition drive was successful, with council ultimately setting the March 2016 presidential primary election as the date for the referendum.