Belleair Shore Takes Moderate Approach to Rental Law Violation
by Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS -- In an act of grace, the Belleair Shore Town Commission has in effect postponed any action on a property owner who is in violation of the town's short term rental ordinance.
Belleair Shore has incorporated into its own ordinances the county law that limits short term rentals to 30 days and no more than three of these in a year.
Recently, the commission has been apprised that two property owners are violating the ordinance.
One case is still under investigation. The other came up at the commission meeting July 18 in the case of Rhonda Hogan who, according to Mayor John Robertson, owns three properties in the high valued town.
Her plight apparently is that she has the three properties up for sale but needs to develop rental income until sales are complete.
In violation of the ordinance, she has been leasing as short as a week and has been advertising the short term rentals on the Internet.
Rather than cracking down on this apparent violation in draconian fashion, the commission is employing a moderate approach, and has asked the owner what approach she will take to solve the problem.
"We can't have blatant violations of our ordinances," Robertson said, "but we can also be kind to a degree to someone in our community."
Commissioners learned last week that outlays in the town budget for 2008 will be $89,400, $200 less than in the current year.
The millage rate for 2008 is expected to be .5256, while the rollback rate is .5486.
Nearing completion is work on the state mandated amendments pertaining to the comprehensive plan.
Robertson expressed great pleasure in the job the Sheriff's Office is doing in providing police services.
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