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Home Rule Threatened Again - HB 403 SB 266
Committee of the Islands
Published on: 3/9/2021
Preemption of local laws was once again a high priority in Tallahassee as the 2021 state
legislative session began this week. Particularly troubling are HB 403 and SB 266, companion
bills that would strip local governments of the authority to regulate in-home businesses in our
residential neighborhoods and potentially diminish property values. Who would want to buy a
home that has a boat or auto repair shop or even worse a chemical storage facility as a
neighbor? COTI opposed these bills as they came up for hearings before the House Commerce
and Senate Community Affairs Committees. Here is a copy of our letter to members of those
committees.
COTI Opens Covid-19 Forum
Christine Andrews
Published on: 5/15/2020
COTI opened a forum for concerns, helpful information, suggestions, and best ideas for dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic on Sanibel. Please contribute - share your concerns and best ideas.
SB1128 Vacation Rentals - COTI Letter to Commerce and Tourism Committee
Published on: 2/10/2020
COTI’s mission in part is to protect the small-town character of our island community. In furtherance of that mission we oppose and urge you to vote no on SB 1128 because it would undermine a time-tested scheme in place on Sanibel to accommodate thousands of visitors each year while preserving the character of our residential neighborhoods....Troubling as well is the finding that “Vacation rentals are residential in nature. ”Residences are places people call home. When we spend a long weekend or a week at a beach front resort, we don’t consider that resort our residence. Our residence is the place we return to when the vacation is over. It’s the place where we interact socially with neighbors and depend on them in times of stress or emergency. That’s the essence of a community — and it’s not found in resorts.
State Preemption puts Neighborhoods at Risk
Published on: 2/1/2020
HB 1011 and SB 1028, its senate companion bill, would completely eliminate local regulation of short term rentals, including neighborhood specific limitations on their duration. Instead it would treat them like hotel rentals with a “one size fits all” set of state regulations justified, judging by the legislative findings, by an expansive view of property rights — but also calculated to maximize tourism and the bed tax. Leading up to a scheduled January 21st hearing, COTI wrote members of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Development and Tourism to let them know why it opposes HB 1011 starting with the flawed legislative findings that are its underpinning.
SUSTAINABILITY DEPENDS ON SWITCHING SANIBEL TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Commentary by Bob Moore
Published on: 1/7/2020
On Sanibel, we pride ourselves Solar panels on top of Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel. As leaders on environment, conservation and sustainability. And Sanibel has more to lose from the effects of climate
change than almost any other place in the country.