Volusia County weighing short-term rental ban

More than 70 residents line up to speak at city council meeting

DeLAND, Fla. – The Volusia County Council debated for almost six hours on Tuesday whether to amend its short-term rental ordinance and lift the ban before ultimately voting to wait to make any changes locally until state lawmakers meet in April to discuss a short-term rental bill.

The argument had become passionate for many beachside communities in Volusia County. More than 70 residents lined up to speak to the county council Tuesday.

“The law of less than 30 day rentals is, in my opinion, out of touch with modern times,” said one resident.

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Another resident weighed in, taking a stance against the short-term rentals.

“You’re putting these children at risk if you turn our neighborhoods into transient communities by allowing short-term rentals,” they said.

On Feb. 16, the county paused a ban on short-term rentals in some areas after many residents protested it at the first several meetings of the year.

The county said it has not been proactive in enforcing this, instead, only enforcing it if someone complained. Since 2007, county officials say they’ve received 860 complaints about short-term rental properties.

Those against it don’t want the traffic and change of neighbors, saying short-term renters don’t care about the neighborhoods.

“Short-term renters in our neighborhood have been loud and disruptive,” said one resident at Tuesday’s meeting.

Others spoke in favor, saying it is a business opportunity and a way to bring in tourism dollars to the local economy, especially during Bike Week and spring break.

“I’ve had people that have come to the area that had never been here before because we talked about how much we loved it and they’re now people that return,” said another resident.

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