Florida Senate OKs vacation rental control bill

skennedy@bradenton.comMarch 26, 2014 

MANATEE -- The Florida Senate on Wednesday OK'd a bill returning control of vacation rental properties to local communities by repealing a provision in a law passed in 2011 that prohibited local officials from regulating them.

But Senate Bill 356 passed with an amendment proposed by state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, that says local governments could not require a minimum stay greater than a week, with some exceptions.

The amended bill passed 37-2, according to the Senate website.

The Senate measure is sponsored by state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, the powerful chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. A companion bill has been filed in the Florida House.

The Senate bill would reverse H.B. 883, which three years ago stripped local governments of their ability to regulate such properties, with some grandfathered exceptions.

Since then, communities in Manatee and elsewhere have experienced an influx of mini-hotels in residential neighborhoods, which neighbors complain cause parking, noise and trash headaches their local governments are prohibited from resolving.

The vacation rental managers association opposes repeal, arguing that the rights of those who invest in such properties should be protected.

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

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