In the News
In Startling Avowal, Rep. Renner Says State Will Attack Home Rule to Discipline "Rogue," Leftist Cities
Rep. Paul Renner, who represents all of Flagler County in the state House and is in line to be the Speaker of the House in 2022, took criticism earlier this year for pushing bills that diminish or eliminate home rule-the political principle that local matters are best left for city and county governments to decide. The state Legislature is becoming more aggressive in "pre-empting" local laws, meaning forbidding local governments from passing laws that go further than state law. Renner has been supportive of that approach, and appears to be becoming more so. Regarding vacation rentals, he said today that "it's much, much more likely that a bill that goes pretty far in the direction of preemption is passed than not." But speaking on WNZF Radio's Free For All Fridays this morning, Renner for the first time went much further, putting his philosophy in a larger context: state pre-emption will happen more and more in coming years because it reflects an ideological battle developing between a conservative state Legislature and more liberal urban centers such as Miami, St. Petersburg, Orlando and Jacksonville. All those cities have passed or tried to pass more progressive ordinances, whether to set a living wage at $15 an hour, require new homes to add solar panels, forbid the sale of puppies from puppy mills-or restrict vacation rentals. The cities are enacting those ordinances within their home-rule authority. To Renner and the conservative Florida Legislature, the cities are going "rogue" the moment they give room to liberal policies, whatever their constituency. Renner's avowal is startling for the degree to which he is essentially equating local autonomy as an affront to state authority, when that local autonomy differs ideologically from prevailing philosophies in the state house.
Senate workshop on vacation rentals previews upcoming legislative fight
The Senate Community Affairs Committee has drawn the lines for next session's home rule battle. When a bill lifting local regulations on home-sharing rentals offered by companies like Airbnb sailed through the House last session, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, thought senators had a "superficial" understanding of the issue. Senators let the proposal die on the Senate floor. Sen. Greg Steube, R-Bradenton, sponsored last year's proposal preempting local ordinances and said he will do so again for the upcoming session. Lee wanted the Senate to be prepared. "Sometimes we don't take up an issue until someone files a bill and that's a little too late to be learning," Lee said Tuesday. "I wanted to workshop this upfront because it is starting to have an impact not only on the hotel restaurant industry but on homeowners' associations and even in some cases property tax rolls." In recent years, the Legislature has thrown out local ordinances on guns, drones, ride-sharing, marijuana dispensaries and gas station signage. Lawmakers attacking vacation rentals ordinances say the state needs a uniform rule that protects property rights.
Short Term Rental Staff Taskforce
The Short Term Rental Staff Taskforce was established in December 2016. The intent of the Short Term Rental Staff Taskforce is to discuss and address the issues related to Short Term Rentals from a variety of disciplines. The Taskforce includes staff from the following departments and divisions: BSO, Fire Prevention, City Attorney, City Management, Planning and Zoning, Building Inspections, Business Tax Receipt, Code Compliance, Public Works, and CRA.
Administrative Memorandum No. 17-065 lists the short term and long term goals of the Taskforce
The taskforce held Resident meetings on 02/16/2017, 03/30/2017, 06/5/2017 and presentation.
As a result of the Taskforce, two Ordinances are currently being processed: