Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Rental Ordinance – Common Sense



About nine years ago, growing complaints regarding vacationing, disruptive short-term rentals caused the City Council to begin considering the issue. Much commercial lobbying later, the current City Council adopted Ordinance 15-01, the Rental Ordinance. In my opinion, their decision was good and not-so-good at the same time.

The “good” includes prioritizing community complaints over commercial interests; requiring registration of all rental properties; assigning accountability for disturbances to the landlord as well as to disappeared short-term perpetrators.

The “not-so-good” includes requiring annual registration renewal; mandating city annual fire inspections; mandating a dossier on each tenant for the City;

Let’s apply some common sense here: Commercial interests want the Rental Ordinance repealed because, they say, we already have laws on the books dealing with noise, trash parking etc. Laws simply need to be enforced. This is true…to a point. Unfortunately, the unlucky family that has to call for that police enforcement EVERY WEEK because of changing short-term rentals is overlooked. How many weeks would you tolerate having to repeatedly call the police … two, ten, twenty, forever?

I applaud City Council for having enacted something. However, they could have done much better if the ordinance had been based on Marco Island’s unique character instead of on the Marathon Key model.

Past experience strongly suggests this Rental Ordinance should certainly NOT be repealed as wanted by the special interests. That said, common sense also suggests it can be amended towards a less intrusive, simpler legislation, acceptable to all of Marco Island, except…guess who?

Russ Colombo

755 Plantation Ct

Marco Island, FL 34145

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