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Delay the vote on changes to the short term rental ordinance

Letter to the Editor

September 5, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Delay the vote on changes to the short term rental ordinance

To the Editor:

The Estero Island Taxpayers Association, EITA, is a collective voice for all ad valorem tax payers and businesses on Estero Island, (Fort Myers Beach). Recently it held an emergency meeting to discuss additions to the existing short term rental ordinance, being examined by town council. At this point, council has an aggressive agenda to vote on and have the new ordinance come into effect 1 January 2018. While this new verbiage to the town ordinance will promote many opinions it is EITA's position that before we undergo a public consultation process, we need more information. This is what we are hearing from taxpayers and was certainly the clear message from of all who attended the 26 August meeting.

Therefore, given Council has not posted the scheduling of any public consultation on their web site to date, Sept. 2, EITA respectfully asks council to delay any voting on, or implementation of any changes or additions to the existing Land Development Code for Short Term Rentals as follows:

1. Delay voting on and implementing any changes, additions or new regulations to short term rentals for a minimum of one year in order to undertake the following activites:

a. Enforce current ordinance and conduct gap analysis

b. Conduct additional research on affected households, economical impact, property rights analysis, cost benefit analysis, etc.

c. Fully examine legal implications to mitigate civil actions law suites as well as 100% guarantee any one issue will not destroy the grandfathering of our existing ordinance.

d. In depth consultations with ALL taxpayers impacted

e. Not be one of the first towns to try this, but to examine and watch the impact of other towns

2. When considering policy development, do so with a government light approach.

EITA will hold another meeting on Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Myers Beach Women's Club, 175 Sterling Avenue. We have invited the Sheriff's Office, Fort Myers Beach Fire and town staff to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the enforcement of our existing ordinance,

Hope to see you there so we can all better understand the facts, our neighbors, stakeholders and all taxpayers.

Beverley Milligan

Executive Director

EITA - Estero Island Taxpayers Association



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