Rentals. What are your thoughts about restrictions on short term rentals? Density per unit? Vehicles per unit? Density in particular areas (neighborhood or broader area)? Would you favor restrictions for new developments that cater to the short term rental market?
Philip Cryar - District 1 - Republican
Yes, I am concerned about the density of the short-term rentals in our area. Restrictions should be implemented on new developments to reduce the overall density and congestion and ease the traffic burdens on the permanent residents of Walton County.
Lisa Johnson - District 1 - Republican
Did Not Respond
William "Boots" McCormick - District 1 - Republican
From a thirty thousand foot view, I think a good thoughtful review of a our currant rules would be in order. The county we live in today is not the same as ten years ago. So I think it is reasonable to review the rules and bring them more in line with the county we live in today.
Mike Barker - District 3 - Republican
Short term rentals are definitely an issue in South Walton. Parking is a serious problem as is density. There should be restrictions on rental units in areas that are already congested. Rental guidelines could be adoped in areas needed that would limit vehicles, density per unit, and even maximum number of rental units per area.
Teddy Stewart - District 3 - Republican
Did Not Respond
Tony Anderson - District 5 - Republican
Did Not Respond
Debbie Heard - District 5 - Republican
Short term rentals drive our economy at this point. We have restrictions on parking in place that are not being enforced. Neighborhood plans and PUD/HOA documents can include many of the items listed above. For properties not in a planned development the current code should be enforced. If this code is not adequate to control over burdening of our current infrastructure then restrictions should be evaluated and put in place. Property rights are a right we all enjoy. I do not believe the county can place restrictions on a deed regarding short term rentals. That is something certainly to be explored. There are many ways to reduce the load we have on our infrastructure through strict enforcement of current code and Florida law. It will take true leaders with the experience and knowledge to dig in and work for a better Walton County. As your commissioner I will be available to hear your ideas and concerns. I will be your voice on the commission. I feel the concerns and frustrations each of you do every day. I am your neighbor. I will represent you.
Dr. Carolynn Zonia - District 5 - Democrat
Across the Country, many Communities are passing laws that would restrict short-term rentals. I believe we have not exhausted all avenues to get better cooperation of businesses offering short-term rentals. There must be a way to preserve South Walton as a great place to live, while continuing to welcome visitors from around the globe. We must ensure adherence to the certificate of occupancy and rein in rentals that exceed life safety recommendations by overcrowding. All new developments must provide designated spaces for off street parking, again this is a safety issue. I believe many of our problems can be solved by simply adhering to current rules of number of beds and parking spaces and code and it may not require new ordinances. I am running for Commissioner because I believe we can do better, and I will work to find fresh solutions to these problems. And I would like to see an overall vision for Walton County that takes a longer view than 5 years. It’s time to convene a workgroup to come up with a 50 year plan for our County.
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