Infamous vacation rental law scrapped on Marco Island

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

The controversial Marco Island vacation rental law, which garnered four lawsuits against it in 12 days, is finally getting scrapped.

The ordinance didn’t even last a year, as it went into effect in December 2022, but when WINK News interviewed city manager Mike McNees early this year, he seemed to be set on making it work.

“The ordinance is in place. It will run, and then we’ll take a look at it and say, OK, how’s it serving us? How’s it not serving us? And whatever changes need to be made will be made,” McNees said.

Apparently, from that evaluation, the city decided that the rules were more trouble than they were worth.

The City Council discussed the project at their meeting Monday.

The city talked about how much money was spent on the program, which totaled almost three-quarters of a million dollars.

The city of Marco Island spent almost $727,000 on a single-family home rental registration program.

Last year, voters approved a registration requirement for Marco Island single-family homeowners who rent their properties less than 30 days at a time.

The ordinance went into effect on Dec. 5, the registration portal opened on March 15, and the first of four lawsuits were filed less than two weeks later.

WINK News asked city council chairman Greg Folley what is happening now.

“Expect they’re all gonna go away because there’s nothing to dispute anymore,” Folley said.

Last month, city council members approved ending the program by a 5-2 vote.

The city bought software, hired full-time employees, bought vehicles and hired an attorney to implement the program, which voters approved in August 2022.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.