Best practices may be best answer to reduce complaints

Anna Maria code enforcement officer Gerry Rathvon said she received 42 noise complaints from Nov. 1, 2011, to Dec. 30, 2012.

None of the complaints resulted in a citation.

Since Jan. 1, Rathvon has neither received a noise complaint, nor has she received any such complaints from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Anna Maria substation.

Mayor SueLynn noted that many vacation rental owners and managers in Anna Maria agreed last year to implement the list of best practices for a vacation rental, which include a tenant agreeing to comply with the city code to reduce noise after 10 p.m.

Although none of the complaints Rathvon received in the 14-month 2011-12 period resulted in a citation, two properties received three complaints during this period. If another complaint is filed against those properties, a citation will be issued and the owner/rental agent will have to appear for a hearing before the city’s special magistrate.

If convicted of a citation, the owner or rental agent could face a fine of $250 for one instance, or $250 per day if the noise complaints continued after the citation was issued.

Rathvon said of the 42 complaints she recorded in the 14-month period, MCSO deputies did respond to some and all were settled without further problems.

Three of the noise complaints were the result of a Friday evening open house at retail stores on Pine Avenue, she said.

Rathvon receives a copy of any MCSO response to a noise or nuisance complaint, she said.

She maintains a database with more than 500 addresses of vacation rental properties in the city. Each time a complaint is filed against a particular address, the complaint is noted by address in the database.

The vacation rental at 11101 Gulf Drive has had three noise complaints against it since the database was created. She has informed the owner, Dr. Francisco Gomez of Tampa, that another complaint will result in a citation.

A vacation rental at 505 Magnolia Ave. also has three noise complaints for the reporting period. The property is managed by Anna Maria Vacations, according to Rathvon’s database.

The Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office website lists the owners as Yvonne and Adam Walker of the same address.

A property at 804 N. Shore Drive has two noise complaints against it, according to the database. That property is owned by Shawn Kaleta, according to the MCPAO website.

SueLynn said it’s still early in the winter tourist season, but she hopes the list of best practices may be working to keep noise complaints down.

“I know the agents, managers and owners who agreed to the list are working hard to have their tenants abide by the list,” she said.

Among the best practices, the tenant agrees to comply with all city codes and ordinances. The tenant is informed of the overnight noise reduction ordinance that begins at 10 p.m. The tenant also agrees not to have loud parties and to respect the rights of adjacent residents.

Larry Chatt of Island Real Estate and Mike Brinson of Anna Maria Island Accommodations worked with SueLynn to identify the best practices criteria.

The mayor said only time will tell if it’s working.

One thought on “Best practices may be best answer to reduce complaints

  1. Nancy

    500 rental properties x 26 weeks of bookings throughout the year = 13,000 groups of guests to the City of Anna Maria for the year
    42 noise complaints (in 14 months) / 13,000 groups of guests = less than half of a percent

    So…. less than half of a percent of all guests to the the island are making too much noise
    Things that make me go Hmmmmm????


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