Anna Maria resident Amy Tripp is taking matters into her own hands.
Tripp has started an online petition against a bill sponsored by state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. SB 188 states, “A local law, ordinance, or regulation may not restrict the use of vacation rentals, prohibit vacation rentals, or regulate the duration or frequency of rental of vacation rentals based solely on their classification, use or occupancy.”
Steube claims local regulations on short-term rentals violate owners’ property rights.
On Feb. 5, Bill Vincent of Bradenton Beach, a planning and zoning board member, began circulating an email written by Tripp, containing a link to her online petition, “Stop Florida SB 188.”
“This Florida Senate bill, SB 188, would strip local governments throughout the state of self-governing vacation rentals,” the email read. “This would devastate small communities due to ‘investor homes’ that seek to have unregulated number of people, and allow for short-term rentals for any length of stay in existing residential neighborhoods. That’s why I signed a petition to the Florida State Senate, which says, ‘Saving local governments and small communities in Florida to be able to retain control regarding vacation rentals.’”
When asked by The Islander Feb. 9 if he knows Tripp, Vincent said, “I don’t even know the person, I just appreciate her cause.”
Vincent, a 2016 candidate for Bradenton Beach’s Ward 4 commission seat, advocated for home rule, saying he has strong feelings about the “firestorm created by Steube.”
He said Steube openly stated he and his wife were shopping for a vacation rental in Flagler Beach, but realized they couldn’t rent it out short-term due to local ordinances.
“This is another example of legislation for self-interest,” Vincent said Feb. 9. “This whole thing is because he wanted a vacation rental and I’m appalled by it.”
Vincent said he would continue to circulate the link to the petition, which had 229 signatures as of Feb. 10.
Steube is “hiding behind mirrors and smokescreens to cover his own self-interest,” Vincent said. “We need to do what we can to stop him.”
Tripp has plans to meet with Steube in Sarasota Feb. 17.
The petition can be found online at moveon.org.