Legislature may OK changes to vacation rental rules, Manatee lawmaker says

skennedy@bradenton.comJanuary 28, 2014 

State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, speaks at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast Monday.SARA KENNEDY/Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON -- Legislation that would return control of vacation rentals to local communities may find support this year in the Legislature, a lawmaker said Monday.

"I think it has momentum," state Rep. Greg Steube, R-Bradenton, said while discussing bills slated for consideration when the Florida Legislature convenes March 4.

The bills would either repeal the law originally passed in 2011, or modify it to return regulatory control to local governments, he said.

Beach communities have been inundated with oversized mini-hotels in residential neighborhoods local officials no longer are permitted to regulate.

The huge structures have triggered complaints about noise, parking and destruction of the laid-back vibe that brings tourists here in the first place.

"I have always been pro-tourist and pro-business, but I'm also pro-community," Holmes Beach Mayor Carlo Monti said during the Manatee Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast.

He wanted to know whether legislators would provide relief this year.

A bill has leadership support in the state Senate, "but the House will be more of a discussion as it relates to property rights," Steube told the mayor.

Steube noted he is concerned about disturbing the rights of private property owners who had invested in vacation rentals.

He did not say whether he would support or oppose bills that would return regulatory powers to local communities.

State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, told the at the Bradenton Country Club he will be working on a bill to put some teeth in the law regulating nonprofit charities.

Reports have shown some charities in Florida collect money for their cause, paying themselves 98 percent of the money, while giving just 2 percent to the charitable cause with which they are associated, Boyd said.

"I'm pretty excited about that because I think it'll be very positive" for Florida," Boyd said.

Steube also said he will be working on legislation about hospital trauma centers and surgical centers.

Whether a new trauma center at Bradenton's Blake Medical Center should be closed is under litigation, with Tampa Bay hospitals arguing it should, and Blake officials arguing it should remain open, he said.

"Blake will still be able to operate if I have anything to do with it," Steube told the crowd.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service