KEY WEST -- Many homes and condo units still remain available to
Florida Keys travelers for short stays, according to a Florida Keys
Tourist Development Council spokesman, who cited recent ordinances
that prohibit vacation rentals of less than 28 days in
unincorporated areas and for less than 30 days in Key West.
Those laws, backed largely by residential groups, have no impact
on the region's hotels, motels, guesthouses or campgrounds, he
Unincorporated Monroe County's vacation rental ordinance covers
the Key Largo, Marathon and Lower Keys regions and is defined
largely by neighborhood zoning rules.
According to Chad Meadows, planner for Monroe County, estimates
suggest that some 80% to 85% of neighborhoods are zoned "improved
subdivision," where rentals must be at least 28 days.
The majority of the rest of Monroe County neighborhoods, Meadows
said, are communities in which vacation rentals of less than 28
days are allowed with special permits.
Rentals of less than 28 days also are allowed in the following
instances, he said:Multifamily structures of more than two units with 24-hour
on-site management.Some dwelling units within controlled-access, gated
communities.Vacation rental uses lawfully established with all permits and
licenses prior to the county's 1986 land development
regulations.Single-family and multifamily structures on offshore islands
without connecting roads or bridges to the Keys Overseas Highway,
where owner-managers maintain public lodging licenses issued before
Jan. 1, 1996.
Key West's vacation rental ordinance, approved by the Florida
Department of Community Affairs (DCA) as required, is under legal
That ordinance specifies that vacation rentals of less than 30
days are allowed with valid occupational licenses. Key West city
attorney Robert Tischenkel noted that some 250 short-term rental
homes and condominiums are available in Key West. Other
incorporated areas of the Keys offer alternatives.
In the Middle Keys, the city of Key Colony Beach has no minimum
time limits on vacation rentals, according to Mayor John Sheldon.
The city of Layton, on Long Key, requires 90-day-minimum stays in
its vacation rentals.
Jim Chisholm, Islamorada Village manager, said representatives
of this newly incorporated area will consider vacation rentals in a
comprehensive plan for the village.
Meanwhile, Chisholm said, the village is exploring avenues to
continue sanctioning short-term rentals in condominiums and gated
communities until the new plan is instituted. Agents booking
short-term rentals in accommodations other than hotels, motels or
guest houses are advised to check with the properties or their
representatives about minimum-stay laws.
Florida Keys Tourist Development Council
Phone: (800) 648-5510