PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla.-- During a holiday week, and most weeks throughout the summer, Florida coasts are filled with vacationers.
For local beach community leaders, this time of year also means revisiting an ongoing issue- people renting homes in neighborhoods for short periods of time.
- Beach community leaders revisiting short term rental laws
- Residents say many renters are a disturbance
- Mayors believe the rules in place are being ignored
Some beach community mayors are frustrated because residents are bringing them complaints about renters disrupting their neighborhoods.
In 2011 a law was passed in Florida that says vacationers can rent homes for as little or as long as they'd like.
Many communities had ordinances in place before this which set a minimum number of days the rental homes in residential neighborhoods could be rented for. Local leaders say this helped deter renters from staying in the homes only a few days to party.
Those communities were able to keep the ordinances in place thanks to the grandfather clause but some cities and towns lost their ordinances.
"We're walking a fine line between being a resort, hotel destination and being a residential beach community," said St. Pete Beach Mayor Alan Johnson.
Many beach community mayors want people to visit their coasts as long as they rent properties responsibly.
"We're not against Airbnb or short term rentals- only in the areas that they're zoned for," said North Redington Beach Mayor Bill Queen.
Some mayors are finding people are ignoring the rules in place anyway.
"They come in, they rent them for three days, they party, they vacation, they leave," Queen said. "The next week someone else comes in. It’s an unmitigated nightmare."
Queen says the complaints he's been receiving include extra garbage, more cars parked on the streets and noisy parties.
"All of my neighbors are upset," said Jean Scott, a resident in Indian Rocks Beach. "They feel like their property value will go down."
Mayor Queen, Mayor Johnson and other local leaders want Senator Jeff Brandes to work with his colleagues at the capital to get rid of the 2011 law, or create one that will solve these issues.
"What we're trying to do is standardize it across communities so that people who own second homes will know what those standards are," said Senator Brandes.
Brandes says unless another lawmaker presents a bill this year, it's likely nothing will change until next summer. But beach community leaders are hoping to see big changes in the future.
"Keep the businesses where the businesses should be and keep the residents where the residents should be. Period," said Queen.
Mayor Queen and Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy will be speaking about this issue at the League of Cities Conference in August.
They've been contacted by other mayors throughout the state who want to join their effort to gain control of the duration of short term rentals in residential neighborhoods.