Property Owners Prevail In Short-Term Rental Appeal
by Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER - North Clearwater Beach residents will continue to live with short-term renters in their midst, courtesy of a ruling handed down by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal on December 7th.
Assistant City Attorney Leslie Dougall-Sides explained their ruling of Affirmed - Per Curiam Affirmed means they have affirmed the lower court decision without writing their own opinion.
The ruling means that the 31 single-family homes on Clearwater Beach that were the subject of the original case can continue to be used as short-term rentals. The owners of those properties challenged the city's enforcement of the 2003 code amendment that banned short term rentals, claiming that their properties should be entitled to grandfathering because they had been rented for short-terms prior to that code revision and that the prior code did not prohibit short-term rentals.
According to Dougall-Sides, the City Attorney's Office has not decided whether to press on with their appeal. But she said that the city would continue to enforce the short-term rental ban on properties unaffected by the decision.
In addition, the city will continue to monitor the uses of the 31 affected properties, and act to individually terminate their legal non-conforming status as short-term rentals should their uses change. "We would still be looking at them in case the use expanded or were abandoned; then our code could be enforced," said Dougall-Sides.
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