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Cape Coral residents against bill changing vacation rental laws

Posted at 7:09 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 19:15:08-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — People living in Cape Coral call House Bill 1011 a bad idea since it'll take decision-making power away from local leaders. Instead it’ll give the state of Florida the power to regulate short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb.

Teresa Carr said she’s even considered renting out her place for Airbnb. She said she would be able to keep things under control without state involvement.

“I don’t want people wrecking stuff and disturbing my neighbors. I wouldn’t allow it,” she said.

Council briefly discussed house bill 1011 in Monday’s meeting. Mayor Joe Coviello said he’s against it, since it’ll mean the state will have full control of short-term rentals. Carr agrees with him.

“I think it should be up to the cities to govern their own policies,” she said. “Let the city take care of it, because nobody really knows what goes on in my city except my city.”

Other Southwest Florida regions like Collier County recently passed stricter laws making short-term rental stays not so short. After getting 90 complaints from neighbors living near short-term rentals, they now require a six-month minimum. Cape Coral only requires a 7-day minimum, even though it’s not strictly enforced. A requirement Carr calls unfair.

“I don’t agree with that. I’ve traveled with Airbnb’s myself, and I’ve never stayed seven days. It’s always been three days here and two days there,” she said. “Not everybody can stay seven days. Some people are just down here for a long weekend.”

But Kris Laubenthael who’s heard of horror stories of short-term rentals getting trashed, says the city should enforce their seven-day rule.

“People wouldn’t be prone to come and spend it for party time and then be on your way,” she said.

On Tuesday majority of a house subcommittee voted in favor of the bill. But Mayor Coviello said he’ll push for lobbyists to prevent this bill from passing.