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  PBA uses this blog to post individual articles from our monthly newsletters. Members can comment on these articles.
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  • 12/03/2022 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    State of Play

    Just before Labor Day, another shooting occurred at a Florida Airbnb party house, leaving another person dead. This time, it was in a quiet Jacksonville Beach neighborhood. Since Spring Break, the state has experience a rash of shooting, assaults, and fights spilling out of vacation rentals into residential communities from Walton to Miami Dade County.

    Airbnb announced around that same time that it's making permanent its ban on house parties with a staffer recently proclaiming in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed, "Airbnb protects communities from disruptive 'party houses'." Of course, the company has a long track record in the state of Florida of opposing even the most basic protections against unlawful and disruptive short-term rentals. Residents from The Villages, PlantationNeptune BeachEscambia County, and Walton County (just to name a few) have recently demanded action from policymakers as their quiet neighborhoods have been overrun by unlawful nightly rentals.

    Between now and the start of 2023 legislative session, lawmakers will hold in-district delegation meetings. These meeting are designed for constituents (like you) who cannot make the mid-week drive to Tallahassee to participate in the legislative process. Each delegation meeting provides a time period for public comment. Make your voice heard. Follow this link to find your delegation hearing and make sure to submit comments - in person or via email if you cannot attend. More details are included below.

    Arizona Republicans Reverse Course on STRs

    Rental platforms have long desired to export an Arizona-style vacation rental law to Florida. Fortunately, Florida lawmakers have resisted, and now Arizona has reversed course after its neighborhoods have been overrun by house parties. The Republican Governor recently signed a bill approved by the Republican-led legislature that would empower municipalities to crack down on party houses in the state.

    Legislative Update and Calendar

    Florida lawmakers returned to the state capitol last week for organizational session, choosing their legislative leadership and outlining upcoming priorities. Legislators will gather over the coming weeks for a special session on property insurance and for committee meetings to workshop legislation ahead of the 2023 legislative session.

    Neither the House Speaker Renner or the Senate President Passidomo have mentioned publicly that addressing the vacation rental issue is a top priority in 2023. However, both lawmakers' coastal districts face acute challenges on the issue. And, the Senate President has indicated that addressing housing affordability is a top priority for her.

    The investor-driven "hotelization" of residential housing stock is a well-documented contributor to affordable housing crises in many communities. A Pensacola resident recently wrote an op-ed asserting that unregulated short-term rentals were removing workforce housing options for local residents.

    As noted above, between now and the start of 2023 legislative session, lawmakers will hold in-district delegation meetings. Follow this link to find your delegation meeting and follow the instructions to submit a speaking card and address your local delegation. Tell them your concerns very plainly. Alternatively, you can email your local members and let them know that you cannot make the delegation meeting but are concerned about unregulated vacation rentals overrunning residential neighborhoods.

    Legislation will be workshopped in the coming weeks. We'll keep you updated on developments. In the meantime, here are the key dates:

    • In-District Delegation Hearings - December 2-TBD
    • Committee Weeks - December 12-16; January 3-6, 17-20, 23-27; February 6-10, 13-17, 20-24
    • Regular Session Convenes - March 7
    • Regular Session Concludes - May 5


  • 10/04/2022 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    The rapid growth of short-term rentals in cities, towns and villages across the U.S. has caused much debate. From contentious city hall meetings where residents advocate for more stringent or more relaxed regulations to lengthy and expensive legal battles between cities and short-term rental platforms, cities can easily get caught in the crosshairs of a complicated policy issue.  

    The Issue

    As short-term rentals have become more accessible to both hosts and users, the prevalence of short-term rentals in cities has skyrocketed over a short period. But the meteoric success of short-term rental platforms has not always been welcomed enthusiastically by everyone. 

    Common complaints are that short-term rentals can drive up local rents, limit the availability of long-term residential rentals, attract an influx of tourists and create excessive noise. Because of this, local leaders must respond to many competing priorities – housing affordability and availability, local tourism and economic development, neighborhood wellbeing and health and safety – which makes passing regulations and balancing those priorities difficult.  

    Cities also find it difficult to enforce the regulations they do manage to pass. Some ordinances are difficult for hosts and residents to understand and difficult for cities to enforce because they are overly complicated or poorly publicized. In other instances, cities have no systematic way to identify hosts who are not in compliance with regulations or identify what properties are being used for short-term rentals and when.   

    Despite the limitations and challenges that city leaders face, local leaders can pass regulations that effectively balance competing priorities, fit community needs and are enforceable. Doing so will help cities and their residents enjoy the benefits of short-term rentals, such as enhanced tourism and supplemental income for residents, while limiting their negative impacts.  

    What Can Cities Do?

    The National League of Cities released a new report, Short-Term Rental Regulations: A Guide for Local Leaders, alongside a Short-Term Rental Ordinance dashboard, to help local leaders break down the process of developing a short-term rental ordinance. These resources are informed by an extensive analysis of 60 short-term rental ordinances from across the country, focused on the legal definition of short-term rentals, regulations, enforcement and permit.  

    The guide highlights instances in which cities have navigated complicated short-term rental challenges, such as: 

    • Moving platforms online: Henderson, NV developed an easily navigable webpage that serves as a one-stop-shop on all things short-term rentals for hosts, residents and staff.  
    • Gathering data: Fayetteville, AR worked with a local university to inform city discussions on short-term rental regulations.  
    • Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders: San Diego, CA spent a year engaging many different stakeholder groups such as a motel/lodge union, neighborhood groups, hotel stakeholders, realtor groups and associations, restaurant associations, the city council, local planning boards and organizations, pre-existing short-term rental operators, Expedia and Airbnb, to inform its ordinance.  
    • Determining fines and fees: Lake Placid, NY collaborated with its justice court to define a short-term rental fine structure based on other successful cases.  

    What’s Next?

    When regulated with care and the proper safeguards in place, they can be successfully integrated into the fabric of a community. With proper regulation, cities can enjoy the benefits of short-term rentals and limit their negative impacts.   

    Regulating short-term rentals is not about limiting their potential, but about enacting the appropriate mechanisms to keep competing priorities and interests balanced. As cities consider regulations to address short-term rentals in their communities, it is important that they act promptly, remain focused on a clear policy objective, consider racial equity, actively engage with relevant stakeholders, develop and enforce clear regulations, and provide continuous review of ordinances. The resources in this guide can help cities find the proper balance to effectively support and regulate this growing industry.  

    View the full article at:

    https://www.nlc.org/article/2022/05/10/how-cities-can-regulate-short-term-rentals-fairly-and-effectively/


  • 09/06/2022 2:25 PM | Anonymous

    THE FLORIDA SENATE 2022-D SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION PASSED

    Committee on Appropriations

    This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

    SB 4-D Page: 1

    SB 4-D — Building Safety

    by Senator Boyd

    Below is the PDF summary of SB 4-D.

    Click HERE to view the PDF

  • 08/10/2022 5:39 PM | Anonymous

    If you’re a landlord that rents out a single-family home, a large apartment building, or even business space, you’ve likely wondered if your rental property is considered a business come tax time. It’s important to know that there are two classifications when it comes to rental property and taxes. You need to know this information so you can properly get your tax deduction when the time comes. 

    Below we’re going to talk about how to know whether or not your property is considered a business, different types of business structures for landlords, and more. Keep on reading to get the most money back come tax time and learn a bit about whether or not your property is a business.

    Read FULL ARTICLE HERE

  • 08/10/2022 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    Media Contact:
    Logan McDonald
    Phone: (850) 595-1479
    E-mail: lmcdonald@ppbep.org

    The Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program (PPBEP) is pleased to announce the first ever Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for the Pensacola and Perdido Bay Watersheds is now available for review and public comment.

    PPBEP’s CCMP – A Prescription for Healthy Bays, is intended to serve as a guide for implementing monitoring, research, reporting, restoration, education and outreach, and policy priorities that enhance the community’s quality of life and economic prosperity, while improving the health and sustainability of the Pensacola and Perdido Bay Watersheds.

    The CCMP recommends priority actions developed in partnership with community stakeholders to address stressors that impair our waters. The identified actions are important steps to restoring our land and water, while maintaining a balance between humans and nature.

    This ten-year science-based, community-driven guiding document allows stakeholders to work collectively, across jurisdictional boundaries, toward a shared vision for the recovery of our waters. The completion of the CCMP allows PPBEP and its partners to leverage resources and funding opportunities to make this vision a reality.

    "Environmental stewardship is critical to our quality of life and economy along the Gulf Coast. Having the CCMP in place establishes a blueprint for forming partnerships and leveraging resources to create long-lasting improvements to the health and resilience of our estuaries and communities,” said Robert Bender, Chairman of the Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program.

    "The Estuary Program Management Conference and staff have put in an incredible amount of work to produce this draft CCMP. We look forward to sharing this with the community and receiving their comments, which will be addressed prior to release of the final CCMP in September 2022,” said Matt Posner, Executive Director of the Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program.

    The deadline to submit comments is 11:59 p.m. CT on Aug. 28, 2022. The draft CCMP and comment form are available on the Estuary Program’s website at https://www.ppbep.org/the-plan/ccmp.

    The mission of the Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program is to restore and protect the Pensacola and Perdido Bay watersheds through restoration, education, and unbiased monitoring of the health of our bays, estuaries, and watersheds.

    The Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program serves as a trusted source for residents, businesses, industry, and the community on issues relating to preserving, restoring, improving, and maintaining the natural habitat and ecosystem of the bays, estuaries and watersheds of Pensacola and Perdido Bays. PPBEP strives to achieve a healthy and collaborative environment by:

    1. Elevating and increasing the importance, awareness and understanding of environmental quality.

    2. Employing rigorous, unbiased, and scientifically sound science to inform and guide decisions, policies, and initiatives.

    3. Funding programs and projects that protect the environment, increase ecological resilience

    4. Building a network of inclusive, multi-stakeholder partnerships that takes into account factors affecting the environment, the economy, and the community-at-large for the benefit of improving the quality of life for all.


  • 08/10/2022 5:29 PM | Anonymous

    Leanne Potts and her husband, Scott Warnke, have been leasing out their two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot cottage in Dauphin Island for the past four years.

    Their renters, she said, have been quiet. Some are retirees who visit the state’s only barrier island to experience its reputation for prime bird watching. Others simply come for a weekend getaway.

    “We feel like we’ve improved the island,” said Potts, who grew up in Mobile, learned how to swim as a young girl on Dauphin Island and now lives in Alpharetta, Georgia.

    “We’d like to continue renting it out,” she said.

    But a proposal restricting short-term rental houses to mostly the West End of Dauphin Island could prevent Potts and other property owners from renting out to visitors.

    The proposal is contained within a 350-page rewrite of Dauphin Island’s zoning code, and it is stirring passions on social media and a debate over whether town officials should restrict the growing industry that is dominated by companies like Vrbo and AirBnb.

    It is also creating an odd divide in a town of around 1,800 residents, pitting full-time residents against the short-term renters in an East End versus West End struggle over where vacationers should go.

    Read the FULL ARTICLE HERE

  • 08/10/2022 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) – Dauphin Island officials are proposing a short-term rental ban on the east end of the island.

    The proposal has many residents and visitors upset. If approved, the ban would only allow vacation rentals on the west end of the island.

    The planning commission has been brainstorming this idea for the last year and a half. What the proposed plan would do is ban short term rentals, which includes anything less than six months, in all of the areas that are shaded yellow on this map, essentially isolating the short-term rentals to the west end of the island.

    Read the FULL ARTICLE HERE


  • 08/06/2022 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    Below are the results from the 2022 PBA Issues Poll. 

    Click HERE to view the questions and responses from the 1st poll

    Click HERE to view the questions and responses from the 2nd poll. 

  • 07/18/2022 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    Published Jul 18, 2022

    For the second year in a row, the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Escambia County District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender with the Presidential Advocacy Award for his work during the 2022 Legislative Session at their annual conference in Orange County, Fla.

    “Advocating on issues that are important to our community is something that I’m honored to be recognized for,” said Commissioner Bender. The FAC Presidential Advocacy Award recognizes County Commissioners who have shown exceptional leadership in advocating with FAC during the 2022 Legislative session to advance counties’ legislative agenda.

    Commissioner Bender was also presented with the Advanced County Commissioner Level II (ACC II) designation from the Institute for County Government (ICG) at the award ceremony. The ACC II designation signifies the Commissioner's completion of the most senior level of comprehensive study program designed by ICG.

    The ACC II education program focuses on transforming counties and the state of Florida by producing strong, versatile leaders with the necessary tools to address challenges across multiple fields and governing bodies. Commissioners are given the opportunity to participate following their graduation from the Certified County Commissioners (CCC) and the Advanced County Commissioner Level I (ACC I) program.

    “As the highest designation offered by ICG, commissioners are challenged to confront the most intricate and complex issues that face Florida,” shared the Institute for County Government’s Executive Director, Eric Poole. “These commissioners who volunteer to dedicate time and energy into earning this designation exemplify the quality of leaders we have on a local level in Florida.” 

    In addition, Commissioner Bender was elected Treasurer of the ICG Board of Directors, selected as the Committee Chairman for the Florida Association of Counties Finance and Tax Policy Committee, and was re-elected to the Florida Association of Counties Board of Directors.

    Alongside Commissioner Bender, 12 commissioners earned the designation at the award ceremony as the third class of graduates to complete the program. Since the inception of this program, there have been 41 graduates.

    Founded in 1929, the Florida Association of Counties has represented the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community. The Florida Association of Counties helps Florida’s counties effectively serve and represent their communities through Advocacy, Collaboration, and Education.    

    Click HERE to view the full article

  • 07/13/2022 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    The Florida Department of State's Candidate Tracking System tracks candidates throughout the elections process presenting candidate status, campaign finance activity, personal photos and contact information. This information is updated regularly as candidates update their information.

    Click the link below to view the Candidate Tracking System.
    https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/candidates/CanList.asp


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