LETTERS TO EDITOR: Condo owners oppose proposed rental ordinance

Compiled by staff

No valid reason

The proposed rental ordinance has no valid reason to include condominiums. To protect the quiet peacefulness of single family homeowners next to or nearby home rentals, I sympathize with their concerns. However, condominiums already have their own rules and regulations that are enforced daily on owners, guests and renters.

At the Royal Seafarer, there is weekday staff on duty plus nightwatchmen every evening who are very effective in keeping the peace if need be. Because of their presence there are never any serious issues. Each potential renter is required to submit a "Lease Application'" with references and other pertinent information so we always know who the renters are.

As to the fire inspection, that too is already being done in the building common areas and each individual condo, as mandated by the fire department. Why should we be subjected to yet another fee to do what is already being done?

Based on the substantial amount of additional bookkeeping, time, in house policing and expense, I feel the proposed ordinance is an undue burden for condominium associations and condo owners.

Marilyn Mancuso

The Royal Seafarer

Cumbersome process

The proposed rental ordinance by the city of Marco Island is a very cumbersome process that will cost more money to condominium associations and hence, owners.

Originally this ordinance was going to address transient rentals, which, as defined by Florida statutes are rentals less than 30 days. As a matter of fact, most of the complaints are weekly rentals in single-family homes.

Condominium rentals are not and have never been an issue since all condominium associations have documents, bylaws and strict rules that take care of problem renters. 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.

Annual fire inspections 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.

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.

Julie Slaisbury

Marco Island

Police should enforce rules

Having followed the discussion about the rental ordinance and after reading the ordinance I have come to the conclusion that the administration and the council want to build up a huge organization to solve a few noise related complaints on short term rental houses, which could easily be resolved if our police would enforce the currently available rules. And if they are not strong enough, why not make those rules stronger and enforce them rather than put a burden on everyone who rents out to register, pay a fee etc. It's not in the interest of anybody to increase the size of our administration and put an additional financial burden on everyone.

Relative to the rules for condominiums, there is no "opt out" provision, so we have to go through the same as house owners have to. There has never been any problem in that area, because condo associations have documents, bylaws and strict rules that take care of problem renters. So why duplicate that with a city rental ordinance?

It just costs time and money without any additional benefit. Also the original intent was to fix problems with transient rentals of less than 30 days. Most condo rentals require a minimum of 30 day rental. Therefore, if City Council still wants to have a rental ordinance, condos should be excluded. Best of all would be to do away with the rental ordinance and tighten the existing rules to make enforcement easier.

Hans J. Loose

Marco Island

Leave Marco condos out of it

Is the council crazy, money hungry, power happy, stupid or blind. Don't we have enough government rules, regulations, and overreach as it is?

Why would anyone in their right mind consider such a ludicrous extension of government overreach? Marco Island has current laws on the books to deal with problem rental properties, why not enforce them rather than create more bureaucracy. This ordinance will only hurt tourism, real estate sales, and our local economy. Condominiums have rules, regulations and policies in place to deal with problems, plus condominiums have bylaws and enforcement authority. We do not need this ordinance or the bigger government that it would bring.

Harry Scott, President,

The Chalet of San Marco

Impaired vision may lead to bureaucratic creep

I believe the issue associated with rental properties on this island was specifically identified as noise, parking and trash. In fact, city endorsed groups assigned to reviewing the rental problem on Marco Island agreed and confirmed the specific problems as well as associated difficulties in combating the problem, i.e. enforcing existing nuisance code to transient renters.

Having read the latest edition of the proposed rental ordinance, I concluded there must be a safety problem specifically linked to residential rental properties. The language in the proposed Rental Ordinance requires an annual safety inspection and enforcement of egress specifications to latest standards. I could be duped in believing one root cause of the rental problem on this island is egress and fire related because safety is a primary consideration in drafting all ordinances.

Safety is always a concern in drafting ordinances brought before council, but if we really are honest about safety, we would be concerned for all residential dwellings, not just short term rental residences.

Why is that so? The argument is residential rental properties are engaged in a business activity. My rebuttal: Whether it is an annual rental or one week rental, the property serves the same function as a residence for personal use. The basic use of the property remains the same so the safety concerns should be the same regardless of classification: business or personal.

In fairness to the community, use is a primary determinant for safety standards. If safety was an issue, the city would apply a uniform safety standard for all residential properties not just rental residential properties ... but it does not because there is not a safety problem.

The city and our elected council as well as delegated city review boards failed to follow simple basic problem solving skills. As a result, I bear witness to bureaucratic creep with its associated costs and complexity under the guise of a safety.

Safety warning: city administration and council may be vision impaired.

Alfred Marchand

Marco Island