The following is a list of key dates related to the drafting, passage, implementation and enforcement of the City's ordinances related to vacation rentals and home sharing.
January 21, 2020
Residents present the Hotel House problem to the City Commission which votes 4-1 to instruct the City Attorney to research the issue and come back with recommendations.
September 21, 2020
After a long delay due to the Covid crisis, the City Attorney brings his recommendations to the City Commission which votes 5-0 to instruct him to codify his recommendations into an ordinance.
February 2, 2021
After hours of discussion and public testimony during which citizens speak overwhelmingly in support of the Vacation Rental Ordinance, only Commissioners Liz Alpert and Jen Ahearn-Koch are willing to move it forward to a second reading.
February 12, 2021
Representatives from both the St. Armands Residents Association and the Lido Key Residents Association met with the City Attorney to recommend the following changes:
April 6, 2021
The City Commission unanimously votes to advance the Vacation Rental Ordinance to a second reading:
May 4, 2021
Second reading and unanimous vote by the City Commission to pass the Vacation Rental Ordinance:
2021 Member Survey Results
90% are at least somewhat concerned that a new Hotel House could be built near them in the next two to three years; 83% are very or extremely concerned (n=125)
96% want City staff to aggressively enforce the 10 person occupancy limit for vacation rentals (n=125)
October 18, 2021
The Sarasota City Commission voted 5-0 to instruct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to allow "Home Sharing" (also known as "Hosted Rentals" or "Owner-Occupied Rentals").
The Commissioners asked for an ordinance with NO constraints. As long as "someone" is living there (It doesn't even need to be an owner; it can be an employee), you would be able to rent out as many rooms as you want, to as many people and to as many simultaneous groups of people as you want, and for as short of a duration as you want (doesn't even have to be the City's seven day minimum). No occupancy limit, no seven day minimum stay, no City registration, no off-street parking requirement, no public safety requirements, and no regard for residential zoning's "household living" and "family occupancy" requirement. They even want to allow lessees in both houses and condos to be able to sublet rooms out to others.
The City believes that it can get around the seven day minimum occupancy requirement by making Home Sharing an accessory use: as long as someone is living there full-time, each individual guest can stay for any duration they want. The City Attorney made mention that Home Sharing would conflict with the City's definition of a Bed and Breakfast, but he did not indicate how that conflict would be resolved after Commissioners asked for an ordinance with no constraints. A Bed and Breakfast is not an allowed use in a residential zone, but this City Commission just asked for an ordinance which would permit an equivalent use, but without the existing licensing requirements, under a different name.
January 3, 2022 through March 1, 2022
Existing vacation rental operators must register with the City. Any new vacation rental operators after March 1, 2022 must register with the City immediately.
June 1, 2022
The occupancy limit and other provisions of the Vacation Rental Ordinance go into effect.