In the last 18 months, our current commission has worked with residents and city stakeholders to strategically change our code to encourage the right kind of development for our city, improve the residents' quality of life, upgrade, and maintain infrastructure, and remain fiscally responsible.
I am grateful for everyone who played an active role in helping us to make the best decisions for our city’s residents. Today, I want to share with you some proposals coming in front of the commission over the next 30 days in hopes of hearing your feedback and suggestions.
Strengthening Our Vacation Rental Regulations
As I have stated before, my own house in Wilton Manors was a vacation rental for about six months. While it’s no longer a vacation rental today, I currently manage a vacation rental located in Fort Lauderdale. I believe that most vocational rental owners manage their properties properly to ensure neighborhoods are respected and properties are well-maintained. A small number of bad apples remain, however.
Our commission is considering changes to our vacation rental regulations that will help us identify and deal with problematic properties. The new proposed regulations include sound detection and alert devices, limits on the number of property guests, require timely on-site responses from a local responsible party, and require timely property inspections between stays. While Florida law prevents us from banning or limiting the number of vacation rentals in the city, these new proposed regulations will help address problem properties that pose a threat to our quality of life. Professional property managers I have spoken with welcome the changes, eager to weed out those short-term rentals that threaten the reputation of their entire industry.
New Dog Park Registration Requirements
At our last commission meeting, Mayor Scott Newton asked that a discussion of dog park registration requirements be considered. As he shared during the meeting, our city charges a fee to issue residents a key FOB of park access. Currently, dog owners are required to show proof of a current rabies vaccine, but not any of the other commonly required vaccines. I share Newton’s belief that we should require dog owners to have the same vaccines to enter our park as they would be required to enter an overnight boarding facility. Requiring these vaccines will help keep all our four-legged friends safe.
City Wide Shuttle Service Being Considered
Revenue generated from residents and visitors parking in our city-owned parking lots can only be used for parking and transportation-related expenses. Besides maintaining our existing parking services, parking revenue also pays for our ride-sharing discounts (https://bit.ly/WiltonUberRides). At an upcoming commission meeting, we’ll consider a proposal to use our parking fund revenue to pay for a new city-wide electric shuttle.
City staff posted an RFP for an electric shuttle operator and identified a potential partner for consideration by the commission. Their proposal would provide the electric shuttles and staff for residents to use anywhere within city limits. Rides would cost a nominal fee, designed to offset operational costs along with advertising that would appear on the vehicles.
- Chris Caputo, Wilton Manors City Commissioner