Upcoming vote on future of Marco Island short-term rentals

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

People on Marco Island want to make it more complicated to rent short-term rentals, feeling it’s causing a lot of noise and disruption.

People on both sides of this issue are getting ready to vote on a registration process for short-term rentals.

Christine and Mike Dowell are old-fashioned. They like chatting with their neighbors. And, knowing the homes on their right and left belong to people they know are members of their Marco Island community. “We generally say ‘hi’ to our neighbors and trade a cup of sugar or whatever,” Mike said.

They feel lucky because as you drive around the island, one out of every four single-family homes on Marco Island is used as a short-term rental. But, they dont like the sight of bottles and waste on the ground. Christine showed WINK News a photo of trash piling up and talked about noise and parking issues.

“When we moved here and started seeing and feeling the impact of what it was like to live next to a business instead of a neighbor,” Christine said. “It moved us to do something.”

That ‘something’ started with a sign in their yard. Getting behind Ed Issler and his political action committee ‘Take Back Marco’. Issler, Chairman of ‘Take Back Marco’ wrote a referendum proposing new rules for short-term rentals. A few examples are a rigorous registration process, tighter noise laws, an occupancy limit, and a ban on guests after 10 p.m.

A sign telling people about the short-term rental registration ordinance. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“Many of them have gotten out of control,” Issler said. “Where we have like 15 or 20 people spending the night in a 3 bedroom home, 4 bedroom home. We don’t want to stop short-term rentals…we want to restore our community.”

But realtors fear the ordinance is step one in banning short-term rentals altogether.

“You’re going to have a few bad apples and it doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time resident or a rental,” Charles Neal, President-Elect of the Marco Island Association of Realtors said.

On August 23, 2022, it’s up to voters to decide the future of housing on Marco Island. Click here to read the official Final Marco Rental Ordinance

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.