As one of the most popular areas in the state for second homes and vacationers, Marco Island is considered a gem of South Florida. With this popularity has come controversy surrounding the proposal to regulate the use of single family homes as short term rentals. If passed, this proposal will place significant restrictions and added regulations for homeowners to deal with in order to continue renting their properties.
In response to this proposal, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of home and business owners in the area. This suit argues that this proposed regulation is in violation of state law, as well as being intentionally challenging to comply with and therefore having negative economic consequences for the community as a whole due to reduced tourism. Due to their experience in these sorts of matters, Di Pietro Partners was chosen to represent the plaintiffs in this suit.
Controversy Surrounding The Proposal
The controversy surrounding this stems from residents’ concerns about rental clients causing unnecessary noise or otherwise affecting the quality of neighborhoods. Proponents of the proposal argue that the ordinance does not violate Florida state law and follows the city charter. They also argue that it provides a reasonable avenue for homeowners to comply with the requirements.
However the plaintiffs in this suit argue that it violates individual property rights as well as depress housing values and raise taxes. They also argue that the local economy and businesses will suffer as a result of such an ordinance being passed due to dramatically reduced tourist traffic from renters. Additionally, the lawsuit argues that the ordinance regulates the duration and frequency of how an individual can rent their property, which is in violation of state law.
Likely Legal Outcome
This is a contentious issue that involves strong interests on both sides. One party feels that their property rights are being infringed upon and has serious concerns regarding the economic fallout from reduced tourist traffic. The other side believes that not only will this ordnance pass but it also is legally sound and follows Florida law.
Based on his prior experience in these matters and knowledge of the court system, David Di Pietro believes that the lawsuit is likely to win. There are multiple possible outcomes, the first being the ordinance being declared invalid and unenforceable under applicable law. If that were not to occur, then the suit seeks compensation for the plaintiffs for the loss of revenue but not being able to rent their homes. In any event, it is unlikely that the ordnance will stand as proposed if it is passed.