St. Johns County imposes regulations on short-term ‘vacation’ rentals

St. Johns County imposes regulations on short-term ‘vacation’ rentals
St. Johns County imposes regulations on short-term ‘vacation’ rentals

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The St. Johns County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to change the county’s Land Development Code to account for short-term rentals.

Among the new regulations:

  • Only ten people are allowed per rental, not counting children 12-years-old or younger. This limit will be phased in over three years.
  • There has to be at least one parking spot for every three guests.
  • There must be at least one garbage can for every four guests.
  • Operators have to register their rental properties with the county. They have until Nov. 5 to do so and the registration will have to be renewed each year.

The first violation will yield renters a warning. After that, the county can impose citations and fees.

Charles Delony is one of the leaders of the South Anastasia Communities Association and helped put these new rules together.

“The point is peaceful coexistence,” Delony said. “Most of us have moved into these neighborhoods because we wanted to have a lovely, peaceful community -- and that’s one of the reasons why short-term rentals in these areas are so popular because we’re a quiet residential area.”

Delony said the architects of these new regulations wanted to strike a balance between some of the stricter rules imposed in other municipalities and having too little regulation, which he said could open the county up to legal trouble.

“There were legal issues if they didn’t do anything and there were legal issues if they did too much,” Delony said. “So, what we did is just cut in the middle and do the best we can we think we got a good plan.”

Property managers told News4Jax, the new regulations were measured and welcome.

“It’s somewhat of a sigh of relief, considering other regulations we’ve faced and the city of St. Augustine and St. Augustine beach,” said David Ingoldsby, Owner of Itrip Vacations. “These are were mild and are not really hurtful to a large degree.”

In 2011, the Florida Legislature imposed heavy restrictions to local government regulation of short-term rental properties, but those rules were later scaled back to allow for some oversight.

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