Counting Down to Christmas Island-Style


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another fun week on sunny, though at times chilly, Sanibel and Captiva Islands. This is the time of the year when it’s always fun to see what folks are wearing. When the temperatures dip down into the 50’s and 60’s at night, locals are happy the next morning to dig out their rarely-used jackets, sweaters, shawls, scarves, and boots, while vacationing visitors in tank tops, shorts, and flip flops also are smiling broadly. It’s easy to pick out the tourists! This afternoon, it’s a breezy 77 degrees!

Luminary 2018 bannerThe many palm trees festooned with twinkling lights add to the holiday happiness too. This year, the City expanded their tunnel of lights along the bike path across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. Adding a bench seat and 2018 Luminary sign has made it a popular photo op spot. It’s really festive and quite striking to stroll through after dark.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday, was the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast – a little earlier than usual thanks to the holidays. Our Association’s Administrative Assistant, Megan Rose, posted some outstanding sunset pix this week. She said I could borrow some to post here. (I hope you enjoy them too. Thanks, Megan.)

Causeway sunset dec 2018 2causeway sunset dec 2018

What’s Happening At CROW

crow-logoThe speaker was Dr. Heather W. Barron, DVM, Medical & Research Director at CROW (The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife). CROW is a teaching hospital and visitor education center dedicated to saving wildlife through veterinary care, research, education and conservation medicine. Each year, CROW cares for thousands of wildlife patients including hundreds of species of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in its veterinary hospital, which is one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory wildlife. They also offer educational fellowships and externship programs for undergraduate students, and internship programs for veterinarian graduates.

As you can probably imagine, this has been an unusually busy year for CROW. We are so lucky to have them here, educating us and visitors, as well as taking care of wildlife and supporting conservation and research. Here is one thing that Dr. Heather mentioned that really stuck in my mind. We all need to do our part, because “there is no Planet “B”.”

Bear in mind that CROW has been around since the late 60’s and Dr. Heather is a no-nonsense mother of three who has worked practicing and teaching wildlife medicine for over 20 years. She is a board-certified avian specialist and a licensed wildlife and sea turtle rehabilitator, and she tells it like it is. Some other tidbits:

Animal population around the world, the U.S. and Florida is changing. “Pythons have been documented as close as Estero.” Research also shows that there probably are somewhere between “35 and 60 coyotes on the island.” They don’t always stay here, but probably swim back and forth from the mainland and Pine Island.

Iguana population also is up here, as is that of the marsh bunnies. Most of us like the cute little bunnies, but Dr. Heather said that probably means that next year the population of hawks and other animals that prey on rabbits will be up.

She also said, “Personally, I wouldn’t eat any local seafood.” Though Sanibel is one of the most pro-environment conservation-conscious communities in the country – being downstream of areas that are not, really hurts us. The long-lasting effects of red tide and blue-green algae are just now being evaluated. We cannot depend on local, state, or federal governments or health departments to advise us of what they don’t know. We all need to be part of the solutions!

Caravan

Following the speaker, in typical December fashion, the Caravan property announcements included plenty of new listings and some price reductions. The details on those (or the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week) follow a couple of news items below. I probably don’t need to share that we all groaned when not a single new sale was announced. We know it’s the holidays, but it’s always positive news when we hear of colleagues’ successes.

Our new listing at 1050 White Ibis Dr (photos below) was one of the 15 properties that was open for viewing after the Caravan meeting. My teammates took inventory while there then. We want to be ready when the right buyer comes along.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Thank goodness, we are a flexible team. With seven BIG ARTS Chorus singing gigs since last Friday, it has been a whirlwind week for me. Part of the fun of this business is not knowing what will happen next, regardless of whether it’s from a phone call or a walk-in.

Short Term Rentals

henderson-franklinWith so much in the news lately about Airbnb rentals, it was interesting to learn that at a recent Sanibel City Council meeting three issues were added to the Department of Community Services’ planning goals. Those issues are: transportation, political signage, and short-term vacations rentals.

Then I saw the below article posted online this week by Kaylee Tuck of Henderson Franklin Attorneys. Betcha the same applies to Sanibel’s 28-day rental minimum for residential communities.

“Limited Vacancy: Florida Appeals Court Rules in Favor of the City of Miami’s Airbnb Rental Ban

“Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal handed down a win for local governments on Wednesday when the Court reversed a previous Circuit Court injunction that barred the City of Miami from enforcing a ban on short-term rentals in residential areas of the City.

“Background – In 2017, the City of Miami adopted a resolution that affirmed the City’s zoning regulations “as they pertain to short-term/vacation rentals,” and stated that neighborhoods zoned as T3 were limited to permanent residential use, which precluded rental accommodations per night, week, or anything less than one month.

“Notably, the T3 zone encompassed most of the City’s single-family houses and duplexes. When residents who had been using Airbnb to rent their properties spoke against the resolution, residents were directed to state their name and address for the record, and the City Manager made the comment that the City was “now on notice” of those who spoke against the City’s code and that he would direct his staff to enforce the City code.

“Airbnb took the issue to the Circuit Court, claiming that the 2017 resolution was preempted by a 2011 state law that prevents cities and counties from passing ordinances prohibiting or unduly regulating vacation rentals.

“Airbnb and individual residents also filed for an injunction to stop the City from enforcing the resolution against the residents who spoke out against it at the City Commission meeting.

“After hearing arguments, the Circuit Court issued a temporary injunction against the City which stopped the City from enforcing its vacation rental ban, as well as prevented the City from requiring residents to give their name and address if they wished to speak during the public comment portion of a City Commission meetings, stating that the requirement had a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

Holding – Fast forward to December 5, 2018, and the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Circuit Court’s orders.

“In reversing the Circuit Court, the 3rd DCA stated that the injunction halting the City’s vacation rental ban was overbroad and not preempted by state law because, although Miami’s land use code was updated in 2016 and the resolution passed in 2017, the material provisions of the code were adopted in 2009 and, therefore, were not preempted by the 2011 state statute. Simply stated, this decision means the City of Miami may now enforce its zoning regulations on short term vacation rentals.

“The 3rd DCA also reversed the injunction that stopped the City from requiring speakers at public hearings to give their names and addresses. The 3rd DCA stated that preventing the City from requiring speakers to give their name and address at any public hearing was overbroad, and that the City has a legitimate interest in knowing the speaker’s name and address for various purposes, such as whether the speaker is actually a resident of the City.

Take-Away – Airbnb and short-term vacation rentals have been long contested by hotels, neighbors, city officials, and many others. This ruling may be the first in a long line of litigation stemming from municipal and county enforcement against such short-term rentals. Therefore, residents and homeowners are encouraged to know the laws of their jurisdiction before renting out their home through Airbnb in order to avoid fines, citations, or any other remedy a city or county has authority to pursue under local law. If you have any questions regarding short term vacation rentals, please feel free to contact me at kaylee.tuck@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1164.”                 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $649K, Loggerhead Cay #282 2/2 $695K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $699K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $775K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $1.449M.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 now $310K, Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 now $329K.

2 new sales: Sundial #J401 1/1 listed at $589,985, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

11 new listings: 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex $539K; 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $597K; 9444 Cotten Ct 3/2.5 $725K; 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 $729,927; 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $749K; 743 Windlass Way 3/2 $765K; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 $839K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 $899K (our listing); 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $1.059M; 1230 Ferry Rd 3/4 $1.095M; 927 Strangler Fig Ln 3/3.5 $1.215M.

4 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $548K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $665K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $874.9K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.05M.

2 new sales: 4436 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 listed at $729K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

4 closed sales: 746 Nerita St 3/2 $717K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 $725K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.15M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 $1.255M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9056 Mockingbird Ln $399K.

1 price change: 1817 Long Point Ln now $323K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1114 Schefflera 4/3.5 $2.65M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $3.395M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.4M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy your holiday festivities wherever you are.

How about this shell tree?

shell tree 2018

Or my favorite mailboxes which are always decorated for the holidays, across the street from each other – the dolphin & the manatee!

dolphin 2018Manatee 2018

Gotta love Sanibel at Christmas! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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