Wednesday, February 23, 2011

City of Fort Lauderdale's Short Term Residential Use (STRU) Committee Meeting to Consider Ban on Short Term Rentals. Could affect Gay Guesthouses

Contact: Keith Blackburn

Chairman, Rainbow Alliance

Phone 305-798-5455

Email: GoGayFortLauderdale@gmail.com

Press Release

Background and Outlook: Despite the objections of a wide range of individuals and organizations, including the Rainbow Alliance, efforts continue to develop regulations banning short term rentals in the city of Fort Lauderdale. It is clear that language containing significant restrictions will be sent to the City Commission for consideration following the STRU's February 24th meeting. This is a serious infringement on private property rights. South Florida's housing market and the economy cannot bear new limitations. Statistics from both the National Association of Realtors® and the Florida Realtors® demonstrate just how important the secondary home market and vacation rentals are to the local economy. Just as thousands of homeowners are struggling to keep their homes, we cannot impose new limitations on their use.

Rainbow Alliance Input: There is no clear definition of exactly who would be affected by a short term rental ban. While most assume that it will only affect single family homes in residential areas, the STRU has not defined the scope. When I brought this to their attention in January’s hearing, I was told that they may consider defining which type of short term rentals could be banned. Most guesthouses now operate under transient rental licenses, issued by the State. The STRU did not seem to be concerned about those specific businesses and added that that they are concerned about rentals of less than 6-months in residential neighborhoods. As you may know, a “Hotel” license can only be issued to an accommodation located within a designated commercial district. The State-issued Transient license allows for rentals between one day and 6-months. Without specific language within a ban, many of us could wind up out of business.

It is our stance that all hotels, vacation rentals, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, resorts, etc. be licensed and operated within guidelines determined by the State and local governments. Tourism in the greater Fort Lauderdale area is a multi-billion dollar business and should not be limited to the large hotels. Our visitors should be able to decide if they want to spend money at a large hotel chain, or a small guesthouse or vacation rental. With careful thought to future regulations, Fort Lauderdale could expand its tourism revenue, which in turn will result in increased tourism tax revenues.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
SHOW UP AT CITY HALL ON FEBRUARY 24th AT 5:00 P.M. AND ASK THE STRU COMMITTEE TO NOT INFRINGE ON YOUR PROPERTY RIGHTS AND STALL OUR ECONOMY BY ENACTING A SHORT TERM RENTAL BAN.

Who: City of Fort Lauderdale's Short Term Residential Use (STRU) Committee

What: Meeting to Consider Ban on Short Term Rentals

When: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fort Lauderdale City Hall, 100 North Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Director of Government Affairs for the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale (RAGFL) put out the first of three “media blasts” to all Realtors and Brokers last week, asking them to come to the STRU Meeting on February 24th at 5:00-8:00PM. Please let your voices be heard and attend.

RAGFL also prepared a prewritten letter to the Mayor and the Commissioners, asking them to oppose this ban. Here is the link to that service. Please let your voice be heard, via the link below:

http://www.votervoice.net/Core.aspx?Screen=compose2&APP=GAC&AID=315&SiteID=0&IssueID=23791&VV_CULTURE=en-us

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