In 2008, Redington Beach passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals.
But last year, they discovered that the ordinance was not enforceable because it had never gone to the voters as required by the Town Charter. That left officials with no way to handle two short-term rentals that left neighbors complaining.
But members of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation may come to the rescue.
Under a local bill proposed by state Rep. Kathleen Peters and state Sen. Darryl Rouson, the ordinance would go before Redington Beach voters. If it passes with at least two-thirds of the vote, the ordinance would be retroactively effective to Feb. 6, 2008, the date the town commission passed it.
That would free the commission to ban the short-term rentals.
Short-term rentals became an emotional issue in Redington Beach last year after a Canadian couple purchased a house to rent out short-term. Neighbors complained to the town because of noise and other issues.
Redington Beach cited the Canadians under the 2008 ordinance that prohibited short-term rentals. The case went to a special magistrate but stopped there because the couple’s attorney discovered the 2008 ordinance had been passed without first going to a referendum.
Mayor Nick Simons said the attorney argued a clause in the Town Charter required such ordinances to be approved by voters before taking effect. The attorney argued that the law was unenforceable.
Simons said the ordinance did not go to referendum because the town’s attorney said it was unnecessary. Since then, Redington Beach has hired a different attorney, Jay Daigneault of Dunedin, who agreed the Canadians’ attorney was right.
The town could not simply pass another ordinance because of a 2011 state law banning municipalities from restricting short-term rentals. If the municipality had an ordinance on the books, that would have been allowed to stand.
The proposed local bill, if approved, would give Redington Beach that status.