Volusia County property owners get ready for heated debate, vote on rental properties

County Council will vote Tuesday on if short term rentals should be allowed in unincorporated parts of the county

Volusia County property owners get ready for heated debate, vote on rental properties
Volusia County property owners get ready for heated debate, vote on rental properties

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The fate of over a thousand short-term rental properties in Volusia County will be in the hands of the county council Tuesday.

They will vote if there can be short-term rentals, or rentals for under 30 days, in certain areas of the county which currently aren’t allowed.

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The fight is happening with residents all over the county but Bethune Beach is where it has become the most intense with signs in most residents’ yards declaring their stance as for or against the rentals.

Resident Wendy Rowan said the short-term rentals have changed her neighborhood.

“There’s more and more and more of them so we used to maybe not be able to pay attention to a couple up on the beachside that were there two or three weekends a month maybe. Now it’s constant,” she said.

Renting out your property for under 30 days in unincorporated areas of Volusia, like Bethune Beach, Ormond-by-the-Sea, and areas along the St. Johns’ river, currently violates county code but it hasn’t been strictly enforced.

Rowan said the constantly changing neighbors can be a nuisance with things like trash and parking.

“You want things to be enforced. It shouldn’t be up to the homeowners to do that,” she said.

County council will vote on if it will make changes to the ordinance to allow the rentals or not make changes to it at all.

The properties are a livelihood for many.

“One of the key tenants of that market space is self-regulation. It’s a star rating industry. You want to be the best; you want to be the nicest because that’s what’s going to continue to bring guests back,” Richard Feller, president of the Vacation Rental Home Alliance of Volusia said.

Feller wants clarification to the ordinance and said the properties bring in tourism money. He’d rather the county specifically go after rentals that are a problem.

“I think that we can take some of that self-regulation, bring it over to the county and say here’s what you have the ability to regulate, put those two things together and come up with some very common-sense ways,” he said.

Public comment starts at 9:30 a.m. at the council meeting on Tuesday.


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