Bert Harris settlement offers continue in Anna Maria

Anna Maria City Commissioners authorized six more settlement offers March 9 for Bert Harris claims filed against the city.

Of 112 claims filed, 59 await a response or initial offer.

The six recommendations were for four new offers and two counter-offers and Vose recommended occupancy settlements between 10 and 12 for all six properties.

The Bert Harris Jr. Private Property Protection Act of 1995 allows property owners to seek relief if they can prove a government action lowered the value of a property.

Claimants must provide appraisals to establish value and settlement, and, in lieu of a cash payments. can either fully or partly restore the rights that existed prior to the prohibitions. The city has 150 days to respond to a claim.

A vacation rental ordinance that went into effect in Anna Maria in April 2016 prompted a slew of Bert Harris claims primarily motivated by the city’s eight-person limit on occupancy in short-term vacation rentals.

The city has chosen to primarily settle most of the claims by negotiating a higher occupancy rate for claimants.

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