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The Bradenton City Council is debating a vacation rental ordinance

Smartphone showing Airbnb photo.
Rafael Henrique
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Airbnb is a popular service used by many to rent a vacation spot short-term.

The city has proposed new regulations in response to residents' concerns over vacationers causing problems.

The Bradenton City Council is working to enact an ordinance that would add additional regulations to short-term rentals. This would directly affect landlords and tourists who use services like Airbnb and Vrbo.

The ordinance includes plans to implement a licensing program that would help the city keep track of rental properties and assure that owners pay their taxes.

Other regulations, like requiring a landline in every licensed home and requiring property owners to maintain a ledger of the past two years of renters, have been subject to criticism.

City council members cite the concerns of residents about short-term rentals, which includes parking violations and noise complaints.

The ordinance has faced resistance, with some opponents saying it goes too far.

Max Brandow is the vice president of advocacy and member programs for the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. He says the ordinance would reduce Airbnb’s presence in the area.

“If I was a municipality, and I wanted to throttle, or limit the amount of vacation rentals, I would do what they did,” said Brandow. “There's an opportunity for the city to hamper the amount of vacation rentals that get approved every year.”

He pointed out that there are already laws in place to address the issues residents are worried about.

“There's already a garbage ordinance in place in the city of Bradenton, they talk about parking, there's a parking ordinance already,” Brandow added. “Open house parties, public drunkenness, those are statutes already codified in Florida Law.”

Bradenton city councilwoman Jane Kocher appeared to agree with Brandow when she spoke during a council meeting on January 26.

“I feel like a lot of what people are complaining about can be taken care of by stepping up our code enforcement,” said Kocher. “There are several things in this [ordinance] that I question, it looks like we’re just adding a big bureaucratic level of government.”

Other council members, like Patrick Roff, spoke in favor of the changes.

“My duty is to protect taxpayers that call Bradenton home,” said Roff. “Your life could be potentially altered by someone else’s profit yield in an existing neighborhood that's not zoned for business. These are businesses.”

The council will host a public workshopto discuss the ordinance at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and take it up for a vote at their next council meetingat 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 9.

I am a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News Intern for the spring 2022 semester; this is my second internship with the station.
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