St. Armands

Residents Association


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.

    • Link to video: CLICK HERE
    • Fast-forward to 6:58:30 and continue watching after the initial presentation and discussion to view citizen input

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.

    • Link to video: CLICK HERE
    • Hotel House Issue starts at: 1:09:45 (fast forward to one hour, nine minutes, and 45 seconds)
    • Resident input starts at: 1:55:15 (fast forward to 1 hour, 55 minutes, 15 seconds)

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. 

    • Link to video: CLICK HERE
    • City Attorney's introduction starts at 37:00 (fast forward to 37 minutes, 0 seconds)
    • Citizen input starts at 1:02:50 (fast forward to 1 hour, 2 minutes, 50 seconds)
    • City Commission discussion starts at 2:51:00 (fast forward to 2 hours, 51 minutes, 0 seconds)

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:

    • Clarify that the ordinance only applies to vacation rentals and not to owner-occupied ("hosted") rentals or to rentals of a month or longer
    • Confirm that no Florida City has ever paid a single dollar for a "Bert Harris Act" claim related to vacation rentals; the City has no liability
    • Limit the scope of the ordinance to only the affected neighborhoods and subdivisions, and make sure that the Lido Hotel Houses are included
    • Replace the in-person building inspection with a signed, self-inspection checklist which makes this ordinance less intrusive and which reduces City costs and lowers the annual fee

April 6, 2021

The City Commission unanimously votes to advance the Vacation Rental Ordinance to a second reading:

    • It still needs to be decided if the ordinance will be limited to the City's coastal island neighborhoods or if it should be implemented City-wide
    • The public safety aspect of this ordinance received significant discussion among the Commissioners and still needs to be sorted
    • Link to video: CLICK HERE
    • City Attorney's introduction starts at 43:50 (fast forward to 43 minutes, 50 seconds)
    • Citizen input starts at 1:02:50 (fast forward to 1 hour, 2 minutes, 50 seconds)
    • City Commission discussion starts at 2:59:45 (fast forward to 2 hours, 59 minutes, 45 seconds)

May 4, 2021

Second reading and unanimous vote by the City Commission to pass the Vacation Rental Ordinance:

    • Link to video: CLICK HERE
    • City Commission discussion starts at 22:48 (fast forward to 22 minutes, 48 seconds)
    • Unanimous Vote to pass at 1:42:30 (fast forward to 1 hour, 42 minutes, 30 seconds)
Note:  most of the provisions of the ordinance will not go into effect until June 1, 2022.

September-October, 2021

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.

    • Link to Video:  CLICK HERE
    • For Public testimony, fast forward to: 3:10:50 (3 hours, 10 minutes, 50 seconds)
    • For City Attorney presentation and Commission discussion, fast forward to: 4:56:55 (4 hours, 56 minutes, 55 seconds)
    • For the City Commission motion and vote, fast forward to: 5:40:30 (5 hours, 40 minutes, 30 seconds)
Without any constraints to Home Sharing, the Association is concerned that the Hotel House operators will be able to give an employee free lodging in one of the bedrooms and then rent out the others (each with an ensuite bathroom) to multiple groups of tenants in excess of the occupancy limits in the Vacation Rental Ordinance, and without having to register with the City.

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.

August 2022

It has been discovered that a new Florida Statute governing Home Based Businesses may preempt local governments from regulating Home Sharing. (Florida Statute 559.955 from 2021 House Bill 403)

But, because Home Based Businesses are required to be a secondary or accessory use, the Home Sharing of more than one bedroom in a house could be in violation of City code that prohibits Bed & Breakfasts from operating in residential zones.

We're documenting more information on Home Sharing here.

October-November 2022

2022 Member Survey Results

97% are extremely or very concerned about more and more Hotel Houses being built on St. Armands. (n=147)

April 27, 2023

City Attorney sends this letter to a local law firm about the Vacation Rental Ordinance's occupancy limit.  

St. Armands Residents Association

P.O. Box 2482, Sarasota, FL  34230

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