New municipal rules that limit the use of vacation-rental homes will become effective in Fort Lauderdale on November 1, four days before one of the city’s biggest tourism events.
The new rules limit the occupancy of any rental home to two guests per bathroom. The rules also bar occupancy by a sexual offender or sexual predator if the rental home is located within 1,400 feet of a park, playground, school or school bus stop.
When city commissioners voted for the rules in August, they planned to implement the rules in November prior to the peak of the tourist season.
But the marine industry is alarmed because the rental-home rules are set to take effect four days before the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in-water boat show in the world, starts November 5.
By the time it ends November 9, the boat show is expected to attract 100,000 attendees and account for more than 160,000 hotel room-night bookings.
Visiting yacht crews have occupied rental homes in Fort Lauderdale during past boat shows, said D.J. Parker of Neptune Group Yachting, but “a lot of these houses will have to shut down because they can’t comply.”
Parker has proposed a one-month delay in implementation of the rental-home rules until after the boat show.
Many rental home owners are likely to skirt a municipal requirement to register with the city, according to Kara Cannizzaro, an attorney whose clientele includes rental home owners. Registered rental-home owners pay an initial city fee of $750, renewable annually for $500. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth