Message from the City Manager:
There are several items that are proposed to be changes or have recently changed that can effect how the City runs day to day business. Please see below for an explanation of the changes and how you can help make your voice heard regarding the changes.
Short Term Rentals:
This year the Florida Legislators have again filed bills in the House and Senate regarding short-term rentals. Senate Bill 522 and House Bill 219 will strip local government’s ability to control short-term rentals. Vacation rentals will be allowed in all zoning districts. Your neighbor’s house could be used as a hotel, housing 15-20 people for days or weeks. Local governments would have to find solutions for the noise, traffic, parking, garbage, and safety issues that are generated from these rentals. The passage of these bills will impact communities more than other areas of the state so it is imperative to speak up.
Home Bases Businesses:
House Bill 403 seeks to eliminate all restrictions from businesses being operated in residential neighborhoods. Allowing unregulated businesses would change the character, look, and feel of Florida’s neighborhoods as well as greatly impact your peace and enjoyment of your house. Any business would be allowed including fireworks sales, scooter rentals, boat and auto repair, rehabilitation facilities, and retail sales just to name a few.
Motorized Bicycles on the Beach:
A recent change to the definition of a bicycle, under Florida’s Statutes, has created a very dangerous situation for our communities. A bicycle that is propelled less that 20 mph can operate on the shoreline. This change was included to allow people to utilize motorized bikes for transportation on streets. The unintended consequences of this have affected every coastal community from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach. We have had legal staff from several municipalities review this issue for solutions and recommendations have been made to Senator Brandes and Representative Chaney. At the present time without a change to the statue, the only solution to this dangerous situation is to ban all bicycles from the beach, which of course we do not want to enact. That would punish everyone for the actions of a few.
We will continue to debate these egregious overreaches by our State Government. Our neighborhoods here not designed to be filled with motels and businesses and motorized vehicles on the sand endangers our residents and tourists. Make your voice heard on these issues by contacting your State Representative Linda Chaney at 727-481-0096 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Senator Jeff Brandes at 727-563-2100 or email@example.com.