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Brody seeks to alter tourism rental rules in Sarasota

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody wants to change City Code to allow short term rentals, even for one night, so long as a “host” is present. The move has homeowner associations and residents both worried and outraged.

Brody will make a formal request of his fellow city commissioners to pursue a modification of zoning regulations to allow “host” occupied vacation rentals as an allowed use in residentially zoned districts within the city on Monday.

City Code currently allows homeowners and residential districts to rent for terms no less than seven days. The rule was designed to preserve the residential characteristics of neighborhoods and not allow the activity and transient nature of tourists within residential zones.

What Brody seeks is similar to an Orlando ordinance that was adopted last July that states, “Owner occupied home sharing is permitted for hosted visits only, where the property owner or tenant lives on site.”

“I don’t see why we can’t try this for a year and see how it works. The big distinction is there would be a long-term property owner or lease owner, on site, acting as a host. The host would have to be registered through the city,” said Brody.

But for residents of Lido Shores, the proposal would lead to the proliferation of short-term rentals across the city. Lido Shores Property Owners Association President calls the initiative “a sham.”

The problem, according to the Lido Shores Property Owners Association, is the host does not necessarily have to be an individual, and may in fact be a corporation.

“The citizens of Orlando, naively believe the ordinance would just help Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally make a little extra money. That’s exactly what Brody is pushing here. But in reality, the requested zoning change is a backdoor attempt to allow short-term, nightly rental churning of residential property with all the noise, transient guests, and problems that go with it.

Brody says the issues associated with tourism rentals primarily occur when there I no “host” present homeowners should have the option to earn extra income.

“It is a plus for seniors who have raised a family and the children have left and they are on status income and on a lot of situations they enjoy the company,” said Brody. Brody added that as a property issue, homeowners should be able to rent for whatever duration they want.

Brody said he has a lot of friends that use AirBNB and he said he is a fan of AirBNB and he thinks, “it adds something to the community.”

“I thought to myself, if they can do this in Orlando where they have a strong hotel lobby, we can do it. I have visited numerous character rich communities through AirBNB,” said Brody.

But for the Lido Shores residents, it is simply a bad idea.

“With the guidance and support of AirBNB, Brody is trying an end-run around Sarasota’s one-week minimum stay rule, and is even suggesting that city staff stand down and relax its enforcement of the city code,” the organization wrote in a Nov. 15 news release.

The 200 plus members of the Lido Shores Homeowners Association stand firmly opposed and plan to be on hand to protest the measure at the next commission meeting.Brody says he is raising the issue at the Nov. 19 commission meeting on the evening agenda to open the discussion.

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2 Responses for “Brody seeks to alter tourism rental rules in Sarasota”

  1. Suny Gravy says:

    Vote this idiot out of office.

  2. Judith Berson says:

    This isn’t NYC or Orlando. We moved here for the beauty and peacefulness. I think this is a terrible idea. Let Mr. Brody move to an area on the east coast if that is the kind of atmosphere he prefers.
    Many of us moved down here to get away from the Atmosphere he seems to want. I chose LBK over Siesta Key because I wanted this gentle atmosphere. I want to continue with our regulations the way they are. This is not something the commissioners should decide. Put it on the ballot and I am certain it will not pass.

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