Wilton Manors approved its legislative action plan at Tuesday night’s commission meeting with short-term rentals at the top of the list.
Commissioners voted unanimously to support collaboration with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to rein in short-term rental properties.
Peter Nasca, a 12-year resident of the city, spoke against short-term rentals during the public comments portion of the virtual Zoom meeting. Nasca specifically singled out Airbnb, the San Francisco-based online lodging company.
“What my wife and I are deeply concerned about is a proliferation of Airbnb homes,” said Nasca, adding that three Airbnb homes are on his block with another likely on the way.
“This is getting out of control,” Nasca said.
Nasca said with Airbnbs come noisy incidents and excess garbage. He recommended the city put a 30-day limit on Airbnb stays.
“We gotta do something about this,” Nasca said. “We don’t want Wilton Manors to become an upscale flophouse.”
Wilton Manors’ legislative action plan supports proper licensing, insurance and industry-accepted safety practices regarding short-term rentals. The city also supports legislation clarifying that existing grandfathered municipal short-term rental ordinances can be amended without penalty.
“I’m certainly a big fan of cracking down on problem vacation rentals,” said Commissioner Chris Caputo.
Caputo said the city has software that can detect if vacation rentals are operating unregulated and asked if city management could provide an update on violations at the next meeting.
Mayor Scott Newton voiced his frustration with short-term rentals, saying there are three on his street and if the trend continues it could ruin the neighborhood.
“I moved here because I loved knowing my neighbors,” Newton said. “I don’t know them anymore. Every week there are new people there.”
Newton said the short-term rental market is more concerned about money than people. The mayor went on to say he knows of better behavior from halfway houses than short-term rentals.
“It disrupts the nice quiet neighborhood,” Newton said.
Other legislative action items include the importance of home rule, water quality improvements and alternative water supply development, climate change strategies and natural resource protection strategies, expansion of affordable broadband internet access, cybersecurity enhancements, transportation funding, affordable housing and sales tax fairness.
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