St. Augustine Record
Feb. 6, 2018
St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach officials have taken a stance on a number of topics at the state level, and St. Augustine officials traveled to Tallahassee to fight for, and against, several new proposals last week.
The visit last week by City Manager John Regan and St. Augustine Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline included visits with lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott’s budget office.
“The number one hot topic for us is short-term rentals,” said Sikes-Kline.
Among multiple bills that address vacation or short-term rentals, Senate Bill 1400 is of particular concern to city officials. The bill, if passed, would cede control of vacation rentals over to the state, according to a city chart on proposed legislation.
Regan said some people argue that, even with state preemption, local governments will still be able to regulate issues such as parking, trash and noise.
“Those are statements made by people that have never run a city,” Regan said. Adding that the new bill would restrict city’s from acting until after a violation had occurred.
Regan also voiced support for a recommendation the governor made for the budget on sea-level rise, a topic that directly affects the city.
Scott’s recommended budget includes investing ”$3.6 million in the Department of Environmental Protection’s new Florida Resilient Coastline Initiative, which will assist local governments with sea level rise planning and coastal resilience projects, in addition to protection of coral reef health,” according to Scott’s website.