Code Enforcement Report – 2017 Annual Meeting by Charlene Adair

I am Charlene Adair, your Code Enforcement Chair. My role is to be a liaison between South Beach residents and the Code Enforcement Division of the City of Fort Pierce. I should also mention that I am a volunteer with the City of Fort Pierce with a focus on supporting Code Enforcement in an administrative capacity. The goal is to enforce City Codes adopted by the City Commission that establish minimum standards for health, safety, and general welfare as well as to regulate conditions to prevent the creation of substandard living conditions within the City.

Our Code Enforcement Officers have done an excellent job supporting our community here in South Beach over the last year, and I would like to thank them for their efforts in helping us preserve what we have here in South Beach while also being open to changes as we face new challenges. (Introduce Peggy, others). There were a total of 199 Violations issued here in South Beach during the past year. The top 3 categories were: #1, lot clearing, #2, renting property for less than 6 months without proper licensing and taxes, and #3: external property and landscape maintenance. Other Violations included non-operable vehicles, outside storage, permits required, and sea turtle lighting. If you have questions about City Codes, all codes are on the City website or you can call the department. Welcome brochures are available on the back table that explain some of the most-violated code requirements in our community, including pet restrictions in all City Parks and beaches, which states that there are no pet-friendly beaches and parks in the City of Fort Pierce.

The most significant differences in 2016 versus other years concerns the management of Short Term/Vacation Rentals. Fortunately, our City had the foresight to adopt Ordinances back in 2001 that require a Conditional Use Permit approved by the City Commission to rent property for less than 6 months in all residential zones. As vacation rentals began to sweep our community, Code Enforcement began enforcement in response to public outcry. Area Realtors and Builders have received mailings and brochures to insure their understanding of this Ordinance. The status on this issue as we speak is:

  • No Conditional Use Applications have been approved for rentals of less than 6 months in the single family zones of R1, R2, and R3.
  • Two Conditional Use Applications have been approved in the R4A zone, one on S. Ocean and one on Hernando in the Tropical Beach neighborhood.
  • Many violations have been declared by the Magistrate including fines and termination of rental agreements causing visitors to leave immediately, interrupting their vacation.
  • Several other Applications are being processed by Planning from the R4A zone.
  • The Condo and HOA developments that are in the R4A zone will be addressed next. An amendment to exclude these developments could not be done, so everyone in this zone is required to have a CU permit to rent for less than 6 months. However, it is believed that the local Condo/HOA minimum rental times will be honored.
  • The goal is to manage these rentals while preserving our neighborhoods and to require proper standards and taxes for those who do have permits.

Short Term & Vacation Rentals Guides are available that  explain the Ordinance and the process for obtaining a Conditional Use Permit.

If you have issues concerning Code Enforcement, feel free to talk to me or a Code Officer, or fill out the Complaint form on the City website. We need all of you to be eyes and ears to maintain this beautiful community – the City cannot do this alone. Thank you!