Walking home from work each day I’ve become aware of a noticeable change in the people walking through Laurel Park. They are nearly all new faces, changing daily, most of which do not even respond to a smile let alone to a polite greeting. Where are these people coming from? Why so many new faces? Are they staying in these places offering nightly rentals in the district?
In the Laurel Park National Register Historic District there are in excess of 400 rental units. The numbers are based on the 2007 NRHD survey and application. These rentals are located in apartment buildings, 4-plexes, duplexes, cottages and garage apartments. Until very recently the rentals were nearly all yearly rentals with tenants often remaining for multiple years.
525 Rawls Avenue
Today we have a growing number of these rentals being used without consideration for a city ordinance. Nightly and weekly rentals are increasing rapidly in the district.
“There are no residential zone districts which allow for nightly or weekly rentals. Bed and Breakfast or hotels are the only nightly rentals and they are allowed in a variety of commercial zone districts by conditional or provisional use permit. Residential dwelling units can be rented out for 8 days or longer.” Planning and Development Director, City of Sarasota – June 25, 2013
For the visitors reading this post, shopping for one of these nightly or weekly rentals – a note of caution. Ask for plenty of photos! Do your research. Be sure you’ve asked what surrounds the rental and ask how it currently looks.
What sort of impact will this have on the neighborhood, the historic district and to the city’s overwhelming need for moderately priced housing in our downtown core?