SARASOTA — Sarasota city commissioners approve an ordinance to adopt citywide restrictions on vacation rentals.
Currently they only apply in certain areas near the beach, including Siesta Key.
One of the speakers at Tuesday’s meeting, Kathy Kelly Ulrich, says commissioners need to make restrictions citywide, because short-term rentals are hurting the community. Casey Kircher, a Sarasota native, says her block on Siesta Key is almost entirely filled with short-term rental housing. “I don’t have regular neighbors any longer. I have strangers every week, walking by my house going ‘Oh!.” Kircher said.
Siesta Key is currently covered by an ordinance on vacation rentals. Opponents say that extending it citywide will hurt “mom and pop” owners of vacation rentals. One accused Sarasota of trying to “kill a fly with a sledgehammer.”
City commissioners voted to remove a provision on occupancy, to avoid a challenge under state law. The ordinance could still be overturned by a bill under consideration in the legislature.