The Marco Short Term Rental Ordinance passed by roughly 14% - a substantial margin - with more than 50% turnout. Yet, at a recent City Council meeting, opponents of the Ordinance dubiously claimed it was somehow "unfair", in part because non-resident rental owners didn't get to vote. Since when should non-resident property owners get to vote in local elections? If I buy a plot of land in Omaha, should I be able to vote there on local issues? Of course not. You vote where you live.

Even worse, the opponents are proposing an "alternative" scheme for short term rentals that more closely resembles no ordinance at all than the one that passed. It would include no rental safety provisions, no occupancy limits, no restrictions on sexual predators renting, and no further protections for noise, trash, or parking. Instead, it would rely on "encouragement" of noise awareness by rental properties. The suggestion that "encouragement" is all that is needed is itself insulting to Marco voters.

To be clear it would indeed be wise for the City Council to make some technical adjustments to the Ordinance that passed, such as correcting references to state statutes and improving the enforceability of the Ordinance. These tweaks would certainly be beneficial as it would help City Staff enforce the ordinance over the long run.

Marco Island City Council should stand strong in support of the Ordinance that passed, barring technical changes needed to improve its enforceability. Marco voters should attend the upcoming meetings of the City Council to voice their support for an Ordinance that reflects the will of the voters; not a proposal that undermines that very same will.

 

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