Rental Properties on South Beach

This Newsletter will be divided into two sections:

1. Update on Conditional Use applications in R1 & R2.
2. SBA recommendation for rental properties in R4A.

We will try to give some background on both so as to provide basic information and answer questions we have received. It is a complicated issue that requires more explanation than usual. If you are confused about which zone you are in. please call the Planning Dept 467-3000 or email us – see address at the end.


History – In response to “motel like” rentals on the beach, Ordinance K114 was passed in 2001 restricting rental properties in R1 & R2 districts to a 6-month minimum with conditional use process required for shorter terms. Until 2015, there had been no conditional use applications submitted.

Current – This year it became obvious to Code Enforcement and others that there was active short-term rental activity occurring in the R1 & R2 districts. As a result, a total of 5 conditional use applications were filed to request less than 6-month rental periods while several others were cited and all required to cease.

The first application, 2025 S. Ocean Dr, went through the entire process and was unanimously denied by both the Planning Board and City Commission. Subsequently, 3 of the remaining 4 applications were withdrawn by the applicants.

1916 Rio Vista Dr came before the Planning Board and received a unanimous denial recommendation. The applicants have chosen to continue the process to the City Commission. Since they wish to be present, it has been scheduled as follows:

1916 Rio Vista Drive Conditional Use Application
City Commission
January 18, 2016 6:30pm
City Hall


We must rally again, attend the meeting and speak – if only to remind the Commissioners of their action on a similar application. We will try to be brief and to the point. We have been asked if it is possible to remove the Conditional Use option from the Ordinance since there is agreement that short-term rentals in R1 & R2 are inappropriate. Unfortunately that cannot be done. The State passed legislation that cities could not make rental provisions more restrictive after June 1, 2011. Removing Conditional Use would be more restrictive.
If there are any future applications, we must attend the meetings and speak.

We will keep you informed.


History – After the passage of K114 in 2001, the City decided to make all zoning districts the same for single-family property rentals and passed Ordinance K148 in 2002 requiring a 6-month minimum for R3 & R4A with a conditional use option. Although documents show that this ordinance was originally meant to apply just to single-family properties, as the ordinance was written it appeared to apply to all properties. For some reason, the passage of this ordinance was not known to residents, the SBA nor was it publicized. Thus, all in R4A, including shared ownership HOAs and Condo Associations, continued to operate as if K148 did not exist.

It was not until the influx of short-term rental properties in R1 & R2 cropped up this year, that scrutiny of all districts began.
Subsequently, in July 2015, city legal issued an interpretation that ALL properties in ALL residential zoning districts were subject to the 6-month minimum restriction with conditional use required for less. This presented a real problem for the City if they had to process the number of conditional use applications through the Planning Board and Commission from the shared ownership properties never mind the burden and cost for the owners of these properties.

Current – City Departments are discussing the issue and we have studied it for many months. We concluded that it would be in the best interests for all to adopt the following:

  1. Exempt shared ownership HOAs and Condo Associations from the 6 month minimum rental requirement in the R4A zoning district and allow them to operate as determined in their recorded Declarations and Covenants.
  2. All other properties in R4A, single family and multi-family, remain under the six month rental restriction with the conditional use process available for shorter terms.

The above recommendation was submitted to the City. We expect that City officials will come forward with a proposal in the near future to provide a solution to an obvious problem.

We will continue to keep you informed.

We solicit your comments/questions/suggestions. Please email