The City Commission recently approved changes to the city’s code that will allow the City to better regulate and monitor transient and vacation rentals. The new regulations went into effect January 1, 2023.

In 2015, the City Commission adopted an ordinance establishing the City’s transient rental regulations, which also included vacation rentals. Since that time, the City has experienced issues implementing these regulations, as well as maintaining consistency with state statutes pertaining to these uses.

Last year, the City Commission, after discussing how other municipalities were updating their vacation rental regulations, asked the city attorney’s office to research the matter. The city attorney presented the City Commission with information regarding newly adopted changes by the City of Coral Springs. The city attorney then prepared a proposed code amendment, which was reviewed by the City Commission, as well as the Planning and Zoning Board.

When the ordinance was brought to the City Commission in October for a first reading, Mayor Kyle Van Buskirk emphasized the importance of home rule when it comes to transient rentals, with the understanding that the City will regulate them responsibly.

“We have to make sure that we can do the most for our residents,” said Van Buskirk.

According to the newly adopted changes to the city’s code, all transient rentals will be required to submit a property survey certified within 12 months of applying to the City for a certificate of compliance. In addition, an inspection must be carried out and approved within 60 days of submitting an application for a certificate of compliance, or the application will be rejected.

All vehicles associated with the rental, including vehicles belonging to guests, must park on the property and not on the street. Information about vehicles authorized to remain at the property overnight must be provided to the City, including tag numbers.

All visitors within transient rentals must be informed of occupancy limits and the property address must be listed on information provided to occupants.

The code expressly prohibits commercial uses at transient rentals, including use as a
venue for parties or receptions.

Certificate of compliance holders are required to update the City whenever any information on the application changes, and in some cases the changed information may require a new application within 30 days.

For all vacation rentals, the new regulations require a scaled floor plan. The City must also be provided a list of all venues on which the vacation rental is listed, and the entire unit must be rented, not just individual sleeping rooms or bedrooms.

The property owner must sign a trespass agreement with the Lighthouse Point Police Department, authorizing officers to issue trespass warnings on behalf of the property owner.

The total number of people that can gather at any given time on a property where legally permitted vacation rentals are located is limited to one-and-a-half times the combined maximum occupancy for all vacation rentals on the property, with a cap of 12 people at any single party or similar event on the property. In addition, no more than three unregistered guests can be on the property from 10pm to 6am, Sunday through Thursday, and from 11pm to 6am, Friday and Saturday.

The occupancy limits must be provided to the transient renter, including the total number of people that can gather at the property at any one time.

Under the new regulations, a property that violates the maximum occupancy limits multiple times in a 36-month period will have its transient rental certificate of compliance suspended for a longer period of time. The suspension period for three violations has increased from 30 days to 12 months; for four violations it has increased from two months to 18 months; and for each additional violation it has increased from 12 months to 24 months.

In addition, violations of the occupancy limits of vacation rentals and violations for unpermitted nonresidential and commercial uses of the property are considered irreparable and irreversible in nature, and will have a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.

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