It’s been a week of wonderful, though chilly, island weather. We’ve had the heat on in the office for a few days and been wearing sweaters, while those here on vacation continue to pedal and jog by in their shorts and tee-shirts. Forecasts say that it will be back up into the 60’s by tomorrow, with temperatures expected to creep up into the high 70’s again by early next week.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
It was standing room only yesterday at the Association of Realtors® December Membership Meeting followed by east-end Caravan. A big crowd always comes when we have a speaker from the City of Sanibel. This year, it was Senior Planner, Roy Gibson. His short power-point covered three documents and followed with questions/answers.
- The Sanibel Report – An early history of the island, the Sanibel Plan is a scientific document published in 1976. It’s probably best known as an environmental assessment of Sanibel, a natural systems study, if you will. It is no longer in publication, but it provided the scientific foundation of the areas that today are known as the island ecological zones.
- The Sanibel Plan – Developed in 1975 (after City incorporation in late 1974), this is a living document accessible at the City website, www.mySanibel.com. It contains the vision statement for the island, describing how Sanibel is 1st a Sanctuary, 2nd a Community, and 3rd an Attraction. It provides the zoning maps and provides the regulatory framework for the City including its goals, objectives, and policies.
- The Sanibel Code – This is the document most often used by the Planning Department and island Realtors®. It’s the operations guide for the City. (We all got a chuckle out of Roy’s pop quiz to guess the weight of the printed document (which is 10.1 lbs). The lucky answerer got their own copy of the Code.) I have a hard-copy in my office too, but it’s much easier to read it on-line. The Sanibel Code contains the City Charter which describes how the City is governed and the Land Development Code. It’s that development code that comes into play in real estate transactions. There is a link to the Code on www.mySanibel.com.
No Realtor® Caravan next Thursday, but the every-Thursday-morning schedule begins again on Dec 28 with a West Caravan.
- Dante’s Coal-Fired Pizza – recently opened at The Sanibel Inn. With locations in Fort Myers and Coral, Dante’s is not new to SW Florida. They will have on-line ordering soon at www.DantesCoalFiredPizza.com
- Lighthouse Café – will again be serving dinner starting today through April.
- Farmers Market – begins on Captiva next Tues, Dec 19 and will be every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 3, at the entrance to South Seas Resort.
Conflict Over Vacation Rental Rights Brewing
Interesting to see an article from Fort Myers Beach posted on line at FloridaRealtors®. This one on Dec 12, 2018 is credited to Laura Ruane, Journal Media Group. Sanibel already has a monthly-minimum on rental homes in residential communities.
“Homeowners have a right to live in peace, free of a steady stream of noisy interlopers, says Doris Grant, Fort Myers Beach resident.
“Government should respect owners’ rights and keep excessive laws off private property, says Joe Tekulve, an Ohio resident with a beach vacation home.
“It’s a battle of rights as some people ponder whether short-term vacation rentals should be more closely regulated, in particular by local governments.
“Two Lee County municipalities took up the matter recently. And, state lawmakers are expected to once again weigh in on short-term rental regulations in the upcoming session.
“Vacation rentals of fewer than 30 days are big business and growing: The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation estimates the number of state-licensed, short-term rental units grew from 117,000 in 2012 to 131,000 in 2016. That growth may be vastly understated in this era of online platforms helping hospitality rookies rent out their spare bedrooms or entire homes.
“But as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and others began marketing vacation rentals in less-commercial areas, complaints poured in from year-round residents. They say their neighborhoods are suffering from a revolving door of short-term renters – guests who sometimes thoughtlessly disturb the peace and character of a place.
“Multiple issues – Bad behavior by renters isn’t the only issue. Area hoteliers and property managers say the competitive field no longer is level when owners of homes and condos can rent out the dwellings for a day or two or more – and yet can ignore health and safety measures, tax remittance and other rules without penalty.
“In 2011, the Florida Legislature adopted measures prohibiting municipalities from regulating vacation rentals – unless they already had such laws in place. Florida was still working its way out of the Great Recession, so sympathy was high for property owners trying to earn a few bucks – and perhaps even avert foreclosure.
“At the same time, though, private equity firms were buying homes in foreclosure for pennies on the dollar, and turning some of them into vacation rentals. In some areas, rentals became dominant and operated like hotels, although often poorly managed.
“In 2014, the Legislature passed a bill “giving cities back the authority to regulate vacation rentals. But they could not regulate the duration of these rentals,” said Casey Cook, senior lobbyist with Florida League of Cities. Cook’s organization favors “home rule,” meaning municipalities decide what level of regulation is right for their residents.
“Last spring, a push championed by Sen. Greg Steube in the Legislature collapsed. That bill would have pre-empted local regulation of vacation rentals – other than existing laws grandfathered-in. However, the topic is far from dead: Two Senate Community Affairs Committee workshops in October took testimony on how to best regulate short-term rentals, and who should do it.
“When contacted in early November, a staffer in Steube’s Tallahassee office wouldn’t rule out the possibility another vacation rental bill could surface next year. Florida’s Senate will convene Jan. 9.
“Numerous Florida cities – including Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Hollywood – have tried to address the issues surrounding short-term rentals regulation. Locally, a rentals ordinance failed to pass muster with Cape Coral City Council. The town of Fort Myers Beach is still weighing its options.
In October, Cape Coral City Council rejected a short-term rentals ordinance that would have required property registrations, a city business license, inspections and the naming of a local contact for emergency purposes. The vote came following a second public hearing at which realty companies, local landlords and Airbnb hosts spoke against the measure.
“Cape Coral’s land-use regulations already prohibit renting to guests for periods of fewer than seven days, but they are not enforced. Host Compliance Software, which monitors short-term rental host agencies, estimated the city has more than 3,100 vacation rentals. This would include an unknown number that rent by the night, contrary to city law. Analysis by the city, which compared that group of rentals with the number of state-registered Cape short-term rentals, showed more than 2,000 are not registered with the state, as required. “We have a compliance issue with thousands of illegally operating short-term rentals in Cape Coral,” said Michael Ilczyszyn, assistant city manager.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 8-15, 2017
8 new listings: Blind Pass #D101 2/2 $439K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $569K, Blind Pass #B209 3/2.5 $584.5K, Sundial West #J207 2/2 $695K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $749K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $765K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 $850K, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.
2 price changes: Blind Pass #A205 2/2 now $418.9K, Snug Harbor #211 2/2 now $769K.
6 new sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 listed at $225K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 listed at $499.9K, Loggerhead Cay #153 2/2 listed at $919.9K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 listed at $1.568M. Captains Walk #B5 2/1 listed at $349K, Captains Walk #A8 2/2 listed at $349K.
2 closed sales: Sunset South #1C 2/2 $665K, Shell Island Beach Club #7B 2/2 $785K (our Buyer).
11 new listings: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 $650K, 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 $543.5K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $545K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 $575K, 1425 Causey Ct 4/3 $779K, 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $829K, 335 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.095M, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.3M, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.499M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.995M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/5/2 $5.995M.
7 price changes: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 now $598K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $629K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $799K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now $799.9K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 now $1.349M, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.245M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.995M.
4 new sales: 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 listed at $569K, 1317 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $629K, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 listed at $649K, 1149 Paper Fig Ct 4/3 listed at $2.245M.
2 closed sales: 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $480K, 714 Durion Ct 3/2 $585K.
3 new listings: 555 Piedmont Rd $219,555; 5627 Baltusrol Ct $410K; 602 Boulder Dr $459K.
No price changes or new sales.
3 closed sales: 2501 Wulfert Rd $175K, 1299 Par View Dr $227K, 1415 Sanderling Cir $879.5K.
Nothing to report.
2 new listings: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 $2.175M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 multi-family $7.9M.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
1 new listing: 15295 Captiva Dr $899K.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.