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Boynton Beach weigh stricter regulations, penalties for short-term rentals

A view of luxury condos by the intracoastal waterway in Boynton Beach
screenshot/Boynton Beach
A view of luxury condos by the intracoastal waterway in Boynton Beach

Short term rentals might be a good way to make extra income in Boynton Beach, but city commissioners say it comes with a cost: neighborhood nuisance.

Drastic changes could soon be on the way for short-term rentals as city commissioners work towards stronger regulations and penalties.

The city is proposing a measure that could address ongoing issues such as loud noise, parking violations, excessive trash and overcrowded properties.

At a recent workshop, Mayor Ty Penserga said officials are trying to produce sensible regulations without overstepping their boundaries.

Penserga said city officials were trying to balance the protection of private property rights and the rights of those seeking to rent their properties — and ensure the quality of life of surrounding neighborhoods.

The draft ordinance is calling for changes to “careless property management and lack of oversight.”

READ MORE: Florida bill could allow monthly fees instead of security deposits from renters

Among a long list of suggestions: minimum age requirements — registered guests under the age of 21 must be accompanied by someone 25 years or older. There could be a cap on occupancy up to 10 people and extra parking regulations.

Required sound measuring equipment would notify a designated “Local Responsible Party,” a person who would oversee the property on a weekly basis, over noise that’s louder than a certain decibel level.

One proposal asked property owners to include landline phones for emergency contact purposes. Commissioner Angela Cruz called the landline proposal an “undue burden” on homeowners because the majority of renters and homeowners of all ages tote cell phones.

“They [homeowners] would either have to pay for a landline service in addition to all the fees that we’re creating,” Cruz said. “I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Enforcement penalties and fees range from several hundred dollars to a max of $15,000 for major, repeat violations — with suspension time frames ranging from 30 days to over a year.

No votes took place at the workshop. The commission will discuss the second draft at the next commission meeting on July 18th.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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