Marco Island Continues to Tweak Specifics of Short-term Rental Ordinance
City of Marco Island, Florida continues its efforts to enforce its short-term rental registration program which was approved as an ordinance by City Council in December 2022. The city has signed a contract with a local government service, GovOS, to implement the program and hired additional staff members to accommodate it. The program is expected to be available to the public for registration by mid-March 2023.
Contract Signing with GovOS
In late 2022, the city signed a contract with local government service GovOS to implement the short-term rental registration program. Six full-time positions were added to city staff, including two full-time workers in the new short-term rental department and two full-time fire inspectors along with two code enforcement officers. Property and parcel data were provided to GovOS in December to begin investigations on homes being used as short-term rentals.
Fire Inspections and Self-Assessment Surveys
Marco Island Fire Marshal Jennifer Pierce has created a self-assessment survey to assist short-term rental owners in preparing for fire inspections. This will ensure that the rentals meet fire safety standards and reduce the need for multiple visits from inspectors.
Defining a Transient Rental
Since the debate over the ordinance began, there has been ongoing discussion about the definition of a transient rental. The definition according to state statute is a home that rents its space for less than a month more than three times a year or a property advertised for rent. The latter requirement has caused confusion among short-term rental owners.
Proposal to Amend Definition
Short-term Rental Program Supervisor Jim Kornas presented a proposal to amend the definition of a transient rental by removing the portion on property advertised for rent. However, City Council directed staff not to change the definition and to leave the language as defined by state statute.
Funding for the Program
The ordinance states that no money from the city's general fund should be used for the implementation of the program, with funds instead coming from registration fees. However, Councilor Erik Brechnitz expressed concerns about funding for the project prior to the collection of registration fees. Assistant City Manager Casey Lucius assured that staff working on the project will keep track of expenses to be returned to the general fund once registration begins.
City staff continues to work through the details of the ordinance, with the goal of completion by March 15, 2023. The new short-term rental program will ensure that all rentals are in compliance with fire safety standards and provide clarity to owners about the requirements for advertising and registering their properties.