Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Rentals in Single-Family Home Residential Neighborhood Are Prohibited

Letter to the Editor

Marco is facing a crisis. A crisis caused by unlawful rentals in SingleFamily Housing (RSF-1 thru RSF-4) Districts, neglect and abuse. From the time Marco became a city in 1997 and probably before, owners in RSF districts have been unlawfully renting out their island homes. The city has turned a blind eye to this problem for well over 20 years. When our first set of Ordinances was codified in 2001, we had laws (§30-10 & 30-81) on our books that prohibited rentals in RSF districts. This ordinance was NEVER enforced by the city and the State exacerbated the situation by passing their own Short-Term Rental ordinance in 2011 with a few amendments thrown in between 2011 and 2014. Some commercial special interest groups might tell you that the State’s Statute pre-empts Marco ordinance(s). Not so fast. Our ordinance (§30-10 & 30-81) has been on the books since September 17, 2001, predating the State’s statute by 10 years! Our ordinance clearly spells out the allowed USES are in RSF districts. “Rental” is NOT mentioned as a USE by Right or Condition, therefore it is NOT PERMITTED! 

The implication of our ordinance was NOT discussed by the City Council in public during rental discussions 2008-2009 nor in 2015. No one from the city officially approached the state to review and grandfather our existing and current ordinance. Now is the time for Marco’s residents to let their city councilors know they are thinking. Petitioning the State to establishing our codes as grandfathered is the most straightforward approach to addressing this problem. 


Joe Rola 

Candidate for City Council 

One response to “Rentals in Single-Family Home Residential Neighborhood Are Prohibited”

  1. Andre' Figueroa says:

    The city and county would not like all the lost revenue that vacation rentals bring along with all the small businesses on the Island. This place would die out. Marco is a vacation destination and yes there are some noisy tourists but nobody is talking about the noisy people that live here all year long. At least Mr. Phares Heindl has a plan to maybe help the situation and we can not scare off the tourists that keep this island thriving. Don’t want it to turn into a 55 and over gated community!

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