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Marco Island City Council to decide on vacation rental ordinance second legal opinion

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 05, 2023

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — Following up on this story Fox 4 brought to you Monday night at 6, The Marco Island City Council decided it wants a second legal opinion on the new vacation rental ordinance.

These new rules were supposed to go into effect this month but have already been put on hold once because some property owners sued the council.

As far as the rules go, they require owners to register their properties and there are stricter rules about noise.

The city has already spent $320,000 on this law, which has not even been implemented yet.

A council member tells us the four plaintiffs in the lawsuits say they will not pursue legal action while it's on pause.

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ORIGINAL STORY — The battle over the Marco Island vacation rental ordinance continues. On Monday night, City Council will decide how to approach at least four lawsuits filed against the city.

The ordinance, approved by voters by close to 57% in August 2022, requires owners to register their properties, among a list of other strict rules. Chairman Greg Folley says the biggest complaint among residents is noise.

Supporters of the ordinance have also brought up concerns about parking and trash, though Folley says most of the renters are good people. It's a small group causing frustration.

Those against the ordinance say it's overbearing, unlawful, and provides too many burdens.

The ordinance is on pause currently, though the city has already spent $325,000 on it and it's not implemented yet. Folley says the money has gone to switching staff over to the registration of properties and other internal things.

Folley says on Monday night, he hopes other council members will approve the move for a second legal opinion about the lawsuits and the ordinance. Council also needs to look into its own concerns internally.

"There are some glitches in the implementation that need to be fixed, one of them is getting tax ID numbers to complete the registration process has been very difficult from the state, so we need a solution there," he explained.

The pause will be in place until January 8, 2024. Folley says the four plaintiffs in the lawsuits said they will not pursue legal action if it's on pause. However, Folley says January is a long time. It does give them the opportunity to flush out issues and get legal opinions. They could lift the pause earlier if they wanted.

If City Council decides to not get a second legal opinion, then they will need to figure out what the next step is.