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Short-term Vacation Rental Lawsuit - $22.7M Bert Harris Claims Prompts Dueling Press Releases

Lawsuit was ignited by Flagler County’s ordinance to control short-term vacation rentals. New ‘unfair taking’ claims by plaintiffs prompted both sides to issue press releases yesterday.

By Toby Tobin
Comments (9)   |    Add a Comment

PALM COAST, FL – October 9, 2015 – February 19, 2015, Flagler County adopted an ordinance to control short-term vacation rentals. March 6, 2015, the county was hit with a lawsuit challenging the ordinance. The lawsuit is led by Steve Milo, principal of Vacation Rental Pros, the dominant vacation rental management company in the county. Milo is a rental property owner. Today, Milo’s side issued a broadside of Bert Harris Claims against the county, accompanied by a press release. The county responded with a press release of its own.

Both press releases can be found at the end of this article.

The plaintiffs claim comes with a supporting schedule asserting a loss of value to 35 vacant lots and multi-bedroom homes in the Ocean Hammock/Cinnamon Beach area. The homes each have from six to eleven bedrooms. They had been built and/or modified to be utilized for short-term vacation rental. Flagler’s new ordinance puts strict limits on this use. Prior to the ordinance, similar “mini-hotels” could have been built on the vacant lots as well.

Bert Harris Act

First some information about Bert Harris claims. The concept of eminent domain has a long history. It is used by the state or national government to take (expropriate) private property for the public good (e.g. roads, schools). The private property owner is compensated for their loss.

But what happens when the government does something that diminishes the value of private property without taking title to it? The value of the property is nonetheless stripped.  For example, a change in zoning might exclude or limit a more profitable previously allowed use of the property.  In the interest of fair play, the property owner should be compensated for the economic loss.

Florida’s Bert Harris Act was passed in 1995 “to provide for relief, or payment of compensation, when a new law, rule, regulation, or ordinance of the state or a political entity in the state, as applied, unfairly affects real property.”

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council

Ironically, the Bert Harris Act and similar statutes in other states grew out of a now famous South Carolina case with which I am very familiar. I lived only a block away from the subject property at the time and have met and talked with the plaintiff.

In 1986, David Lucas bought two residential oceanfront lots in Wild Dunes for $975,000. Wild Dunes is located on Isle of Palms, a barrier island just north of Charleston, S.C. [Wild Dunes is similar in nature to the development that encompasses Hammock Dunes, Hammock Beach, Ocean Hammock and Cinnamon Beach.] At the time of purchase, single family homes could be built on each of the Lucas lots without additional permits from the S.C. Coastal Council. 

South Carolina subsequently passed a landmark Beachfront Management Act which directed the Coastal Council to establish a “baseline” along the shoreline beyond which new homes construction would be prohibited. The baseline was drawn through the middle of the Lucas lots. They became “unbuildable.” Lucas filed suit claiming that a ban on construction constituted an “unfair taking” of his property without just compensation. Appealing all the way to the US Supreme Court, Lucas prevailed. The state was required to purchase the lots for $850,000.

Two wrongs do not make a right, but three do

The State found itself the owner of two worthless Oceanfront lots. With the apparent belief that two wrongs don’t make a right, but three do, South Carolina exempted the two lots from the building restriction, enabling them to be sold as buildable lots. Two multi-million dollar homes now occupy these once worthless properties. You can't make this stuff up.

Back to the case at hand

The plaintiffs will have to prove that their property values were diminished and that the loss is attributed to the new Flagler ordinance. The property list of asserted claims of lost value provides no supporting information. However, three of the homes are currently listed for sale at prices well above the diminished-value assertions found on the Bert Harris Claims list. The "asking price" clearly sheds doubt on the validity of the asserted lost value.

1 Ocean Ridge Blvd N

  • Asserted “Before Value”: $827,000
  • Asserted “After Value”: $620,000
  • Asserted “Diminution in Value”: $207,000
  • Current MLS Listed Price: $1,300,000

21 Ocean Ridge Blvd N

  • Asserted “Before Value”: $960,000
  • Asserted “After Value”: $725,000
  • Asserted “Diminution in Value”: $235,000
  • Current MLS Listed Price: $1,100,000

28 Hammock Beach Cir S

  • Asserted “Before Value”: $900,000
  • Asserted “After Value”: $685,000
  • Asserted “Diminution in Value”: $215,000
  • Current MLS Listed Price: $850,000

Although the final outcome of the claims rests with the judicial system, both Plaintiffs and Defendant are doing their best to affect public opinion. Their dueling press releases follow.

From the Plaintiffs

Flagler County Socked with $22.7 Million Property Claim

Anti-vacation rental ordinance has opened county to massive liability claim under Bert J. Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act

Flagler County Commissioners were served this morning with letters and copies of property appraisals from 35 property owners showing that the county’s anti-vacation rental ordinance passed this spring will cost each of them an average of $650,000 in lost property value. The appraisals were submitted as part of litigation filed by the property owners under the Bert J. Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act.

“County officials have placed an inordinate burden on these property owners by severely restricting and vindictively targeting their properties with this ordinance,” said attorney Pete Heebner, who represents a number of the property owners. “We’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect the private property rights of everyone in Flagler County. These county officials have no right to single out one type of property owner over another. If they keep it up, it’s going to cost all county taxpayers millions of dollars.”

The majority of the properties are situated in the Cinnamon Beach area, and the $22,704,000 total property value loss is linked directly to the Flagler County ordinance that restricts how these 35 homes can be used.

“When these properties were purchased, this overreaching ordinance wasn’t in place,” said Heebner. “Homeowners rightfully had the freedom to use the properties as they wish, just like everyone else. But now, Flagler county commissioners have decided to single out certain types of properties and restrict their use, which has resulted in a significant drop in values.”

If successful, the claim against Flagler County would represent one of the largest judgements against any local government for the taking or inordinate burden of private property values.

“Not only are county leaders stripping rights from property owners and driving down home values, they are opening up county taxpayers to even more liability,” said Heebner.

The lawsuit was filed on March 6th, 2015. 

Previously, Mr. Heebner’s law firm won a $30 million judgment against the city of Ponce Inlet, Florida, in a lawsuit filed there in 2010. A jury found that city leaders stopped citizens from completing a development project after they had already invested substantial sums of money.

From the Defendant

Flagler County in receipt of Bert J. Harris Jr. claims

October 8, 2015 – An attorney representing some of the largest short-term vacation rentals on Thursday presented Flagler County with 35 Bert J. Harris Jr. claims.

The claims contend that Flagler County’s short-term vacation rental ordinance has devalued the lots and homes purchased for use as short-term vacation lodging in single-family residential neighborhoods. These homes are often occupied by more than 20 people at a time, creating numerous problems for these neighborhoods.

“We are in receipt of a series of documents,” County Administrator Craig Coffey said. The claims are under review.

“The County Ordinance incorporated numerous safeguards to protect these properties, adjoining property owners and our visitors,” Flagler County Attorney Al Hadeed said. “We painstakingly provided them a special vesting procedure, which they apparently are now totally ignoring. With a proper certificate, they can have up to 14 people in a single-family home. How many more do they want in the homes?”

Circuit Judge Michael S. Orfinger on May 27 ruled in favor of Flagler County and its short-term vacation rental ordinance in lawsuit filed March 6 that sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Orfinger ruled that an emergency motion for preliminary injunction was unfounded.

Flagler County’s short-term vacation rental ordinance was approved in February and amended in March to change the application period for existing vacation rentals from April 15 to June 1. This will allow potential applicants additional time to apply. It also provides those who qualify six months, until Dec. 1, 2015, to come into compliance with safety standards established in the ordinance.

“We are confident that in the event that actions are actually filed, that the County will again prevail just as it did with the initial challenge to the Ordinance,” Hadeed said.    

reader comments
C&R's Levitt & I.T.T.'s C.D.Corp.
Posted by George Edward Chuddy
Oct 24, 2015, 5:07 pm

PALM COAST - Sections 1 through 19.
ITT Levitts, later ITT CDC, Restrictive Covenents and Easements and other Amended Restrictive Covenants and Easements. These were recorded in the Official Record Book 119, Pages 0641-0659, Flagler County, Florida.

'Amemded' ITT Community Development Corporation, a Delaware corporationn, hereinafter referred to as 'Company' - Palm Coast Restrictive Covenants and Easements - Recorded in Official Record Book 119, Pages 0641 0659, Flagler County, Florida Page 1 of 20
Levitt & I.T.T. initial Deed Recording & C&R's
Posted by George Edward Chuddy
Oct 24, 2015, 5:07 pm
Public Offering Statement:

ITT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
28 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 31230
For
13,501 homesite lots, typically 80 feet x 125 feet, platted of record in Flagler County , Florida
Disignated as
PALM COAST
Sections 1 through 19
Effective date: July 30, 1971
Seller may retain Title and possession of property until all promised Improvements have been completed and warranty deed delivered. Cost to Purchaser for Connection to Central Sewerage, when available, is presently estimated at $500.
Page Two
State Property Report Disclaimer
"This Public Offering Statement is for informational purposes only. The State of Florida, Department of Business Regulation, Division of Florida Land Sales, has neither approved nor disapproved the merits of this offering. The Subdivider is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of this statement.'
Notice and Disclaimer by Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development."
"This report is not a recommendation of endorsement of the offerings herein by the Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration, nor has that Office made an inspection of the property nor passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this report or of any promotional or advertising materials used by the seller. Information contained herein has been filed with the State of Florida in the Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration.
It is in the interest of the buyer to inspect the lot and to read all contact documents before signing this contract to purchase or lease.
Prospective buyers and lessees are notified that unless they have received this property report prior to, or at the same time they enter into a contract, they may void the contract by notice to the seller.
Unless a buyer or lessee acknowledges in writing that he has read this report and personally inspected the lot prior to signing his contact, he may revoke his contract within 48 hours from signing his contact, if he has received the property report less than 48 hours prior to signing such contract.
Although a statement of record has been filed with the Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration, the filing has not been examined or verified."
Page 1 of 4 PC LE 10M-9/71 1013A

Part 1
PROPERTY:
Palm Coast is being developed by ITT Community Development Corporation ("the Company") . The propertyis located in Flagler County, Floirda, less than one miles east of Interstate Highway 95, less than five miles east of U.S. Highway 1, and less than two miles west of State Road A1A, all of which run in a generally north-south direction. It is adjacent to boeh St. Joe Road and Palm Coast Parkway, which run in a generally east-west direction. It is located six miles northwest of Flagler Beach ( Population 1,000) and 11 miles northeast of Bunnell (Population: 1,900) . St. Augustine is 27 miles to the north on State Road A1A and U.S. Highway 1 and has a population of 12,000; Daytona Beach is 24 miles to the south on State Road A1A and U.S. Highway 1 and has a population of 45,000.

------->Palm Coast, Sections 1 - 19 , consists of 13,501 homesite lots, typically 80 feet x 125 feet.
Palm Coast is the first development of the Company. The Company plans to develop 20,000 acres in Palm Coast at present and may develop substantial additional acreage of contiguous lands held within the ITT system.

Encumberances:
There are no mortages encumbering this property.
The property is being offered for sale subject too:
1. Public streets and easement for drainage and utilities including community antenna television facilities.
--------->2. Covenants and restrictions imposed to limit use of the homesites to residential purposes, to create setback lines, and size requirements, to regulate the use of canals and waterways, to create an architectural control committee and to establish other standards and requirements which are customary for the preservation and maintenance of the residential character of the property being offered.<-----------
3. The right of ITT Rayonier, Inc. to harvest merchantable timber on the properties, including plantation timber, until such time as deeds are delievered to purchasers, after which such time rights shall cease.
4. Any applicable ordinances, regulations and statues.
ADDESS:
Access to the property is from Interstate Highway 95 to State Route 100 and then Old Kings Road to Palm Coast Parkway. Access to homesites will be over hard - surfaced streets.
----------->LAND USE:
The Property is being offered for use as residential homestites. Certain areas of the property have been set aside for multi-family use, and these have been so noted in the Covenants and Retriction recorded in Flagler County.<--------- The topography is generally flat; the elevation varies from four to forty feet above sea level. The soil is sandy and supports a growth of pine, oaks, palm and cypress. During wet weather the property does require drainage, provision for which has been made by the Company. Nominal fill may be required for home contruction. There is presently no zoning ordinance in Flagler County.
PART II
AREA FACILITIES:
1. Fire Protection- The Florida Forestry Service, located seven miles away from the property, makes its equipment available for fire suppression.
2. Police - Police protection for Palm Coast is provided by the Flagler County Fheriff's Department, 11 miles distant.
3. Shopping - There is a neighborhood shopping center in Flagler Beach, six miles from the property' the nearest regional shopping center is in Daytona Beach, 27 miles, distant. The Company has set aside certain properties which may be used for neighborhood shopping facilities as the need develops, but the Company is under no obligation to construct or operate any commercial properties including neighborhood shopping favilities.
4. Schools- Bunnell Elementary School is 10 miles southwest of the property. Flagler Beach Elementary School is six miles southeast of the property. Bunnell High School is 10 miles southwest of the property,. Daytona Beach Jr. College is 30 miles south of the property. St. Johns River Jr. College is in Palatka, 27 miles northwest of the property. Bethune Cookman College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univversity are in Daytona Beach, 27 miles south of the property. Flagler College is in St. Augustine, 27 miles north of the property. Stetson University is in DeLand, 38 miles wouthwest of the property. Jacksonville University is 71 miles northwest of the property. The University of Florida is in Gainesville, 73 miles northwest of the property.
County school bus service is available for school children who reside outside a two mile radius of Bunnel Elementary, Flagler Beach Elementary and Bunnell High Schools.
Certain sites at Palm Coast have been reserved by the Company for schools and will be made available upon terms and conditions to be determined if, in the opinion of the appropriate governmental officials, the population of Palm Coast so warrants. The Company is under no obligation to construct schools in these reserved parcels.
5. Hospitals - fully accredited and equipped hospitals are within a 30 mile radium. They are: The Halifax District ( 600 beds), Ormond Beach Memorial (100 beds), Daytona General (80) beds, and Bunnell General (35) beds.
6. Churches - All major denominations are located within 23 miles of the property. Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal and Methodist churches are within 10 miles.
7. Recreation - A golf course and club house have been constructed at Palm Coast and nine holes are presently ready for play. The Company proposes to construct a Yacht Club and Marina, which shall include tennis courts and swimming facilities. Tennis courts have already been constructed. All of these facilities are within five miles of the property and will be completed by December 31, 1972. Membership costs and use fees will be established. Fishing , both fresh and salt water, is available within ten miles.
Page 2 of 4.
IMPROVEMENT"
Streets and Drainage - The Company will construct paved streets and drainage facilities in accordance with specifications accepted by Flagler County. the date for completion of the streets and drainage facilities in a particular section will be the Improvement Completion Date as set forth in the Homesite Purchase Agreement. The streets have been dedicated to Flagler County. Streets have a least an 18 to 20 foot driving surface over a 50 foot right of way.
Water - Atlantis Development Corporation , a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, will construct, operate and maintain a water supply system. The date of which potable water will be supplied to any particular secdtion will be the Improvement Completion Date as set forth in the Homesite Purchase Agreement. All buildings must be connected by the purchaser to the central water system within 90 days after such system becomes available to the purchaser's property, as provided in the Covenants and Restrictions heretofore recorded in Flagler County, Florida. Thee Covenants also provide for a connection fee presently estimated to be $50.00, based upon current construction costs. The connection fee is payable on the date the system is connected to the building.

Sewage: Atlantis Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Compnay, will construct, operate and maintain a waste collection and treatment system. In Section 1, palm Coast. The Company makes no representation as to the extension of the central sewer system to any other areas of Palm Coast. The Company intends, however, to extend the central sewage facilities to one or more additional areas of Palm Coast, when and as the same becomes economically feasible. When and if a central sewer system becomes available to a lot, the purchaser is required to connect any buildings within 90 days thereafter, as provided in the Covenants and Restrictions. The Covenants also provide that the lot owner shall pay a connection fee on the date that the central sewer system is made available to his lot, whether or not a connection is actually made at that time to the central system, or at the time the Company conveys title to the lot, whichever date occurs later. The connection fee is presently estimated to be $ 500.00 for each lot based upon current construction costs, or for each two units in areas where multi-unit structures are permitted.

Until such time as the central sewer system is made available to a purchasers lot, owners of homesites will be required to install their own septic tanks and related drain field for sewage disposal, subject to the requirements of and approval by the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering of the Division of Health, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services of the State of Florida. The current approximate cost for such installation is $ 350.00. If and when the central sewer system is available to the purchasers lot, no septic tanks or other individual or privately owned sewage disposal system shall be installed or permitted to be used.

If a purchaser intends construction of a home prior to the availability of central sewage facilities and the governmental authorities will not permit installation of a septic tank, the Company will exchange his property for another at the then same selling price in an area where such sewage disposal is available or septic tanks are permitted.


Canals - The Company intends to construcd all canals by the Improvement Compeltion Date as set forth in the Homesite Purchase Agreement. In addition, the Company has made provision for bulkheading along the main canals, where in its opinion, such bulkheading is advisable. The Company makes no representations as to maintance of the canals or of the bulkheads. The canals are to be a minimum of 60 feet wide and 8 feet indepth.

Lakes and waterways in Section 1, 11, 12, and 13 will not have access to the Intracoastal Wateraay. Fentress Cove in Section 1 does not have access to the lakes in said section. Waterways in Section 13 will not have access to those in Sections 11 and 12.

Canals and waterways in Section 19 will not have access to the Intracoastal Waterway and may not have access to waterways in any other sections of Palm Coast.

Individual Surveys - The lots being offered, although platted of record, are not individually surveyed or staked. Surveys obtained by the lot owner at a cost presently estimated to be between $ 50.00 and $ 75.00 , inclusive of staking.

PART III
Public Utilities:
The Florida Power and Light Company will provide electric service. A $ 20.00 deposit is presently required. Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company will provide telephone service. The minimum connection charge for telephone is presently $ 11.00. Bottled gas is available from independent suppliers.
Public Transportation:
Major airline connections are available at Daytona Beach, approximately 30 miles distant and bus service is available at Bunnell, approximately six miles distant. There is a non-commercial regional airport in Bunnell, 10 miles from the property. The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad stops at DeLand, approximately 33 miles from the property.


Present Development and Occupancy:
This is a new subdivision and at this time no homes, other than model homes, have been constructed onthis property offered for sale. Homes are now under construction and initial occupancy is anticipated in March, 1972.
Governmental Controls:
The Board of County Commissioners of Flagler County, located in Bunnell, Florida, is the governmental entity having jurisdiction.
PART IV
Method of Sale:
Lots may be purchased for cash or on an installment basis. Purchasers receive a Warranty Deed upon completion of payments or on the Improvement Completion Date, whichever is later. Interest is charged on the outstanding contract balance, which will vary from 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 per cent per annum, depending upon the amount of the purchaser's down payment. Although prepayment may be made without penalty, it will not accelerate delivery of the property before the Improvement Completion Date.
Exchange Privilege;
Provided that all payments under the Homesite Purchase Agreement are current and purchaser is not in default, the Company will exchange the purchaser's property for another available property of equal price, as determined by the then current selling price, or will accept such property in trade, toward the purchase of another available property having a higher price, as determined by the then current selling price. This Exchange Privilege may be exercised at any time prior to the recording of Purchaser's Deed. Purchaser will receive credit for monies paid on account of principal pursuant to the exchanged Agreement.
Refund Privlege:
Provided that all payments under the Homesite Purchase Agreement are current and purchaser is not in default, the Company will refund to purchaser all monies paid pursuant to that Agreement, purchaser completes a guided tour at Palm Coast and immediately thereafter so requests in writing on forms provided by the Company. The refund form must be executed immediately by purchaser (or by each purchaser, if applicable ) upon completion of the guided tour. The Refund Privilege is personal to purchaser and cannot be exercised by any agents on behalf of purchaser. The Refund Privilege may not be exercised by any assignees of purchaser nor is it applicable to Homesite Purchase Agreements executed by Purchaser at Palm Coast.
Types of Sales Program:
The property is offered by direct sale at palm Coast and elsewhere through the Company's own sales organization and through registered real estate brokers. The Company utilizes all advertising media, telephone, Company-sponsored parties and home presentations, and the mails.
NOTICE TO PURCHASERS
THE PURCHASERS SHOULD ASCERTAIN FOR HIMSELF THAT THE PROPERTY OFFERED MEETS HIS PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS. MISUNDERSTANDINGS AS TO THE DESIRABILITY OF THE NATURE OF THE PROPERTY OFFERED OR THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT.
BE SURE AND READ YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE YOU SIGN.
THE SUBDIVIDER IS REQUIRED TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO READ THIS OFFERING STATEMENT BEFORE YOU ENTER INTO A PURCHASE AGREEMENT.
DO NOT SIGN UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THIS OFFERING STATEMENT.

SELLER MAY RETAIN TITLE AND POSSESSION OF PROPERTY UNTIL ALL PROMISED IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND WARRANTY DEED DELIVERED. COST TO PURCHASER FOR CONNECTION TO CENTRAL SEWERAGE, WHEN AVAILABLE IS PRESENTLY ESTIMATED AT $ 500.00.
********************
Signature Card was attached below.
C Section Short term Rental
Posted by Ron
Oct 22, 2015, 8:53 am
Palm Harbor - C Division (Palm Coast)
"Canal Front w/Boat Dock!"
MLS $2,500.00 Monthly
"Pool Home!"

Address: 2 Crafton Ct
Size: 2231 sq. ft.
Style: Single Story
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2

View Details
Public Lodging Establishments
Posted by Ron
Oct 22, 2015, 8:53 am
Ed,

Check next-door. Neighbors are posting this information. Yes, there are dwellings being used in the canal section as mini hotels are next to single family homes. The residents being affected have already called the City code enforcement people. Check with the City code enforcement for the locations of these public lodging establishments. Or search for them on one of the vacation rental websites.

They need to create an ordinance in the City now. But as usual people do not get involved unless it is effecting them. This attitude will only cause a greater issue in the future for the City. Remember the State of Florida removed home rule from all the residents in June of 2011 and open the door to the vacation management industry. If you did not have a preemption on the books prior to June of 2011 you are out of luck. We need the public to get involved an ask our state representatives to restore full home rule back to our local governments. Our local governments should be allowed to determine where these short term rentals can operate.
Public Lodging in the Palm Harbor Community of Pal
Posted by George Edward Chuddy
Oct 19, 2015, 11:54 am
Hi Ron:
What exactly do you mean by this:
'...The problem continues to grow you can fine these public lodging establishments now in the C section of Palm Coast...'
Are you able to give specific addresses ?
Thank you very much.
Steve Milo Continues To Lie
Posted by Ron
Oct 14, 2015, 2:54 pm
Let's put this all in perspective. Vacation Rental Pro's owner Steve Milo only concern is his business. He has no concern about property rights. Proof is he and his vacation management associates hired lobbyist to convince our legislators to pass Senate Bill 883 to take away home rule and their property rights from all Florida residents to benefit their vacation rental business.

This man continues to disregard the Florida Fire prevention code. He states that he is in compliance which was another lie. Flagler County is in the process of inspecting these dwellings for life safety out of 72 inspections a total of 11 pass. Vacation rentals pro's owner Steve Milo's only concern is the dollar. Public safety takes a back seat.

Steve Milo's business model will kill single family communities as we know them. This business model will remove affordable housing. This business model is all about greed for the vacation management industry. This business model will destroy your communities property values. This business model will decrease property taxes that are collected by governments. This business model should not be operating in single family communities. The vacation rental industry has no concerns about the citizens of Flagler county or our country. It's only concern is profit at our cost.

Let's get the record straight. When an owner license their dwelling as a vacation rental you change the use of that dwelling. It is now a public lodging establishment. It is not a single family dwelling. These dwellings are a business and are subject to additional life safety rules just like a bed and breakfast, motel or hotel.

Why would a vacation rental not be treated just like any other public lodging establishment. They are in the business of making money. In fact they are not a rental or a lease. The owners issue a license for use of a unit for certain time frame, ( Daily, weekly or one month or less) just like hotel room, motel room and bed and breakfast. These dwellings are for transient use and do not belong in single family communities.

Our local representatives most have the authority to regulate these businesses the same way they regulate any other businesses. In 2014 our legislature recognize this and pass Senate bill 354. But this bill fell short. Our local representatives can not prohibit vacation rentals from being operate next to single family homes. This is wrong. The problem continues to grow you can fine these public lodging establishments now in the C section of Palm Coast.

Another reason this bill fell short was it gave the vacation rental industry an opening to contest any attempt to regulate this industry. It is time for our legislators to return full home rule back to our local governments. It's time to stop these lawsuits against our communities by these greedy individuals.

Steve Milo is only concern about his business period. It is time to stand up and protect our single family communities. Hopefully common sense and our values will be protected in our courts.
lawsuit
Posted by Tony
Oct 10, 2015, 11:13 am
The 22.7 million only represent Vacation Pro short term homes is a joke.

HOW ABOUT THE 700 PLUS RETIRED AND PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT WHO LIVE HERE PERMANENTLY FULL TIME. Their loss is 20 times greater than Steve Milo. Its much harder to sell because nobody wants to live near or next Hotels homes with 5 family's and 15 or more people in a single family home.
Try calculating their loss caused by Short term rentals. When these people bought Ocean Hammock was no short term rentals until 2011.

Buyers avoid the community because of transients & short term rentals.

NOT ONE RENTAL HOUSE OWNER LIVES IN THE COMMUNITY.

700 HOMES MUST KNOW SELL AT MUCH LOWER PRICES BECAUSE OF STEVE MILO
Definition of "Unfair"
Posted by Kevin
Oct 09, 2015, 2:58 pm
You cited the Bert Harris Act as stating that compensation is due when a property owner is impacted by laws or regulations that "unfairly affects real property". The key word being "unfairly". Actions taken by governmental entities for the public good and enforced equitably should not be considered "unfair" just because something new is required in order to build or something once permitted in a certain area is no longer permitted while other options remain. Imagine if every time any zoning regulation were drafted or ordinances to replace failing cesspools with new advanced technologies in septic design were implemented the existing property owner could claim that it was unfair because they bought the property prior to the change...nothing could ever be done to improve the quality of life in a community. There are always trade offs in life and usually they involve the common good vs the individual. In this instance involving controlling the unbridled excesses of rental hell, the county recognized the common good of a community to regulate the business enterprise being operated in a residential community for not only public safety but public sanity. No one is preventing the plaintiff from building on and enjoying their property but the county is regulating the impacts of that use such that others are not "unfairly" impacted. Let us hope that the courts are of sound mind and reasonable thought to recognize that we are a society founded on the basis of law and that not everyone is entitled to everything especially when that everything is at the expense of others' enjoyment of their own property.
Vacation Rentals
Posted by Carl
Oct 09, 2015, 2:32 pm
It seems to me that these vacation rental owners built commercial property in a residential zoned area. The owners built with deliberate intentions to multi-rent and were obviously fraudulent in the building application to build a home and not a commercial enterprise. Built as rentals, they need to meet safety and fire codes, not mention sufficient parking so as not to encroach on the neighbors. Commercial use must meet commercial standards..

 
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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.