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    Volusia County Judge Upholds County's Short-Term Rental Regulations Disputed in Lawsuit

    Volusia County, Florida, Judge Kathryn D. Weston ruled on Dec. 12 that the county's code of ordinances bans short-term rentals of less than 30 days in residential zones, but the Vacation Rental Home Alliance (VRHA) of Volusia will file an appeal. VRHA's lawsuit argued against the county's assertion that it may prohibit vacation rentals using its ordinance for hotels and motels, deeming vacation rentals the same kind of property, and thus disallowed from operating in residential zones. The group contended that because the ordinance does not specifically mention vacation rentals, which are described in state statute as "any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative or any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, three-family, or four-family house or dwelling unit that is rented to guests more than three times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month ... or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests," any vacation rental limitation is overridden by state statute. "While the county's definition of 'hotel/motel' and the state's definition of 'vacation rental' are not identical, their primary characteristics overlap," the county declared in a press release. "Both phrases apply to buildings being rented to the public to be used as transient lodging for periods of less than a month." VHRA President Richard Feller said local vacation home rental owners, who have occupied the properties and are selective about who rates as guests, also want the best for their neighborhoods, while still upholding their property rights.

    Ormond Beach Observer (12/17/22) Jarleene Almenas

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