Letters to the Editor, July 12

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Businesses depend on vacation rentals

I hope the individuals proposing and supporting the vacation rental referendum have done the math and aren’t just approaching this from an emotional point of view.

According to page 20 of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau – January 2022 Monthly Dashboard, it reports that 50 percent of the vacationers were vacation rentals, 47 percent were hotel/motel/resorts, and the remaining three percent was campgrounds and bed and breakfasts.

If this 50 percent is significantly reduced or eliminated, what happens to the businesses that are dependent on their revenue? Do full-time residents typically go parasailing, shell hunting, boating, or jet skiing once a week? Do the full-time residents go out to eat or fill suitcases with clothing and souvenirs each week? What about transportation companies, photographers and florists?

Does the city have revenue or officers to enforce all the new rules this referendum would impose? This all sounds like a costly venture for the city and would likely result in higher property taxes, lower property values, and overall higher costs for the residents of Marco, not to mention the many legal issues this potential ordinance would bring.

Lori Reinalda, Marco Island

Rental ordinance would cost taxpayers

The pricey rental ordinance proposed on the Aug. 23 ballot comes at a very high cost and is not self-funded. Ask Fort Lauderdale which had to hire 12 people to implement the mountain of work it caused. Every city nationwide already has rules for noise, garbage and parking. Why are you raising my taxes to fund a duplication of noise, garbage, and parking rules that are already in place? Vote no! August 23. 

Karen Twyning, Marco Island and Wisconsin 

Marco economy would be damaged

I recently fell in love with Marco Island.

Myself and my family came out to Marco Island for one week in January, renting a condo at South Seas. We absolutely fell in love with the area and decided that it would make a great retirement spot for us. In March we purchased a condo.

Marco Island and the business owners, as well as the residents (which we will be one day), would be very much affected by getting rid of vacation rentals. The tax revenue would then have to be made up by collecting higher taxes from residents.

I’m assuming, the weekly renters spend more money on the Island than the monthly renters, so only allowing monthly rentals would also have a negative affect.

The long-term effects would be devastating for the Marco Island economy and would affect everyone. If I could vote, I would vote “no.” 

Marvin Mullins, Marco Island 

Support short-term rental ordinance

There has been a great deal of misinformation spread about the short-term rental (STR) registration ordinance in an effort to confuse voters.

First, it’s important to be clear what the ordinance does not do: 1. It does not affect visitors to homes that are not short-term rentals; 2. It does not affect condos, which are regulated by HOAs; 3. It does not affect long-term rentals; 4. It does not even “ban” short-term rentals.

It simply provides basic registration procedures for STRs in the single-family districts that are rented for less than 30 days. These procedures include common- sense items like requiring fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, ensuring the appropriate license from the state is received, etc.

Importantly, this ordinance is drawn in parallel to Fort Lauderdale’s ordinance, which is being enforced without any legal issues. It is 100 percent in compliance with state law.

This ordinance would not cause businesses to suffer on Marco Island. Not only would STRs continue to operate but consider how businesses were thriving on Marco prior to the STR invasion. It’s also important to recognize how difficult it is, for example, for a resident to get a table at local restaurant during peak season. Residents are being crowded out from contributing to our local economy.

Some have claimed that the current situation of weekly vacation rentals were an invention of the Mackle Brothers. Clearly this is false: the deed restrictions created by the Mackle Brothers state that only a residential single-family use is allowed in single-family districts. Nor could the Mackle Brothers have possibly anticipated AirBnb and VRBO — or even the Internet itself — when Marco was developed. Since 2019 alone, the number of AirBnB listings on Marco has increased by more than 50 percent.

Here’s the bottom line: the growth in unregistered STRs has caused a flurry of noise, parking, trash, and traffic issues that our residents are paying the price for. This common-sense referendum simply provides basic registration items for STRs rented for less than 30 days, in order to make life a little more bearable for residents and visitors alike.

So, don’t buy in to the misinformation out there. Instead, vote “YES” on the Short Term Rental Registration Ordinance on August 23.

Rozine Grey, Marco Island

More:Letters to the Editor, June 14