The Transylvania Times -

Support Residential Zoning


The Brevard City Council and Planning Board are moving down a dangerous path, one that other municipalities took, and increasingly regret. Use a library newspaper database or google “short- rentals” (STRs) and “loss of community” – and see what is documented in vacation towns and cities across America.

Owners of single-family homes, townhomes and condos — and long-term renters — increasingly suffer from the new form of commercial property popping up everywhere. The greatest degradation comes when entire single-family homes or condos are rented out for one or two days at a time; regularly and repeatedly, without owners on the premises. The effect is devastating to a residential environment.

On Sept. 21, Brevard elected officials emphasized support for “entrepreneurial spirit.” There was little elaboration, but the allusion was to roughly 100 STR rentals identified in Brevard and the ETJ. There was minimal comment about protecting residents.

Yet, as neighborhood STRs grow, residents are increasingly expressing concern about large groups, noise, parking, traffic, etc. And with negative complaints growing, what happens if STRs are legalized and the number doubles, triples or quadruples?

City staff claim our current code restricting rentals to no less than 30 days is “ambiguous.” This is faulty logic that Airbnb and VRBO are offering.

Who will benefit most from this burgeoning system? Local government gathering more tax dollars? Downtown businesses desiring more weekend customers? The investor with a second home, who buys a third, fourth or fifth, because they are now so very profitable? The local bed-and-breakfast buying homes for overflow business?

What is lost? Safe, properly priced and tranquil housing for residents, seasonal owners and long-term renters? The neighborly and low-key environment along tree-lined streets that has attracted many families, couples and singles to buy here? The priceless sense of small town community? Or, will it be respect for officials if a bad STR deal is legislated?

The devil will be in the details of any revised law. Watch closely. And consider contacting Brevardowners. to voice your concerns, tell your STR story and support existing residential zoning.

L.B. Cooper

Miami, Fla.


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