New regulations for short term rentals are on the way to Dunnellon

City council members unanimously approved a new draft ordinance.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:20 PM EDT
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DUNNELLON, Fla. (WCJB) - The small city of Dunnellon is known for the Rainbow Springs and River but also the tourists who want to see it all.

City council members unanimously approved a new draft ordinance that changes the way vacation rental owners operate.

The draft ordinance focuses on occupancy, inspection, and registration requirements.

“Our ordinance really does mirror state law,” stated Dunnellon Mayor Wally Dunn. “There’s nothing at all that’s outside of state law, so there shouldn’t be a problem.”

City leaders say the ordinance would require short term rental owners to register their property with the city.

“We discovered that a lot of the short term rental owners had not gone through all the registrations they should’ve done,” stated Mayor Dunn.

Mayor Dunn assures the ordinance won’t have a negative impact on the city’s economy, but short term property rental owners say tourism brings in lots of revenue.

“They bring in money to the city, they bring in food, groceries, restaurants, gas stations, car repairs, pet grooming,” stated Airbnb host Viola Soffe. “There’s a lot of different businesses out there that can benefit from the short term rental owner renting houses out to vacationers.”

Soffe and 29 other short term rental owners oppose the ordinance because of its strict requirements and annual fire inspection fees.

“There is already a couple of short term rental people that have mentioned they may sell their properties because they already tired of dealing with this,” shared Soffe. “That’d be 2 less houses for vacationers to rent.”

City officials say there will be a second and final hearing for the ordinance on September 27th.

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