Article Courtesy of The
By Nicole Rodriguez
Published November 20, 2018
Opponents of short-term, host-occupied accommodations say it will lead to
SARASOTA — The Sarasota City Commission on Monday will consider amending its
zoning code to explicitly allow host-occupied short-term rentals for less than a
week — a potential move that faces fierce opposition from a property owners
Currently, the city’s code doesn’t have a
clear allowance for property owners who are present and rent
out a room or a guest house for a day or two, said
Commissioner Hagen Brody, who requested the item be
considered by his fellow board members to get their pulse on
the issue. Brody says discussing amending the code to make
it clear to homeowners that being present and renting a room
for less than a week will help those on fixed incomes, such
as senior citizens or young homeowners, to pad their pockets
while helping the local economy.
“You get a very eclectic clientele that seeks to rent in
kind of an Airbnb fashion or a host-occupied room-fashion,”
Brody said, adding the city’s code is “gray” on the matter.
“They want to experience the community. They want to visit
the local restaurants and coffee shops as opposed to the
traditional tourist experience,” he said, adding a potential
change in the code is a “reasonable adjustment to our zoning
code for something that is already taking place.”
Brody cautions that this issue is different from the city’s
current vacation rental ordinance, which does not require a
host to be present and imposes a one-week minimum on the
rentals to avoid high-turnover in residential areas and the
commercialization of neighborhoods.
Dave and Sara Plank have a one-bedroom apartmentin
the back of their house with a private entry for Airbnb guests.
“I do think the commercialization of private
neighborhoods is an issue that we need to be wary of, but this is a very
separate issue,” Brody said.
Still, some residents plan to protest on Monday.
“Commissioner Brody has publicly voiced his desire to allow what are called
‘host-occupied vacation rental units’ in residential neighborhoods, and has
quietly placed the issue on the November 19th Sarasota City Commission
agenda,” the Lido Shores Property Owners Association said Thursday in a
Residents there fear Airbnb will buy homes to rent out and break the city’s
laws. They also expressed concerns about how the city will verify that a
host is on site.
“In concept and in theory it does sound good — that wouldn’t this be great
if mom and pop who are retirees make a few extra dollars and rent out a
room,” Lido Shores resident Bob Thill said.
“We’re adamantly opposed to what we call the commercialization of
residential neighborhoods,” Thill also said.