MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — As Marco Island celebrates its 25 years of city-hood this week, this Tuesday residents vote on a proposed ordinance that could determine the future for short term rental owners on the island.
Although the proposed ordinance has gained traction with some locals, short-term rental owners say they are not happy about it and are already prepared to sue for potential damages if the issue passes.
The ordinance is one that was proposed by permanent residents of Marco Island who say short term vacation rentals cause disruptions to the island.
The issue has been debated at Marco Island City Council meetings for the past weeks by residents on both sides of the issue.
Fox 4 interviewed Marco Island City Manager Michael McNees about what this ordinance could potentially mean for homeowners.
“Some of the rental owners are unhappy about the proposal, some of the locals are unhappy about the people who are opposed, so there's a lot of unhappy people on both sides,” McNees said.
Whatever the outcome, McNees hopes the island can keep moving forward.
“Reconciling the tension between our visitors, our tourists, and our permanent residents. It’s one of those dynamic tensions that drives this island and I think the better job that we can do as we go forward is that mutual coexistence that mutual appreciation, each side for the other,” he said.
On Tuesday registered voters in Marco Island will be able to have their voices heard by either voting yes or no on the ballot.
The Marco Island ordinance is titled "Implement a Single-Family Home Transient Rental Registration Program."
If it passes, it means short term rental owners will have to register their property with the city as a rental home, and will have to adhere to new rules.
It’s a long list of rules that includes things like registering as a transient rental every year, making sure guests are abiding by parking and noise regulations.
There’s also a long list of state regulations rental owners have to follow.
Every year owners will also have to pass a safety inspection.
Any violations or complaints can result in penalties and suspensions for owners.
Owners can even lose their license to operate a short term rental.