Vacation rental and salvage home controversy erupts at City Hall • Coral Springs Talk

By Bryan Boggiano

Eight residents of Running Brook Hills addressed the city commission at the Feb. 16 meeting, alleging the city was not doing enough to regulate vacation rentals and salvage homes.

Judy and Philip Averbuch have been residents since 1974, raising their two children in Running Brook Hills. Their grandchildren are now visiting their home.

“It’s a wonderful residential area; it’s a beautiful street,” Philip said. “We want to keep it so people are safe so they can be happy.”

They think their neighborhood is becoming increasingly unsafe, and that sober homes and vacation rentals opening in their neighborhood are making their community unsafe.

Across the street, Judy said a vacation rental property could have up to ten cars in the parking lot with trash cans full of booze. She also said the proximity of vacation rentals to people living in low-cost homes brings them closer to drugs and alcohol.

“I don’t know if it seems very safe,” she said. “I don’t want to live in a neighborhood where I don’t feel safe.”

Another resident, Theresa Caldone, cited a rental property that hosts parties with private security, exceeded maximum occupancy and people smoking marijuana in front of a drug treatment center.

Arthur Germain said he felt unsafe for the first time in 33 years and felt unsafe walking his dog around the block at night.

“I love all these people. I love this community,” he said. “It’s not about me; it’s about us.

But it’s not just one or two properties on the block. Linda Kendricks, a 36-year-old resident, said five out of about 35 homes are vacation rentals or low-key homes in her building, which she says turns the residential neighborhood into a commercial one.

Under Florida law, local governments cannot ban vacation rentals or regulate how often people rent these properties.

In June 2021, the city commission passed an ordinance regulating vacation rentals. After it passes, rental property owners must obtain a certificate of compliance with the city, have a valid rental license, and register their properties with the city each year by September 30.

Vacation rentals must adhere to bedroom occupancy limits of two people per bedroom, park all rental cars on this property, and comply with city codes such as waste and noise ordinances, among other actions.

Vice Mayor Simmons expressed empathy for residents of Running Brook Hills, saying he was experiencing something similar in his neighborhood.

“I don’t want our neighborhoods to turn into commercial entities under any circumstances,” he said. “I don’t want multiple commercial properties operating next to residential homes where people are raising their families.”

Mayor Brook said he would discuss rental properties further with city staff and city attorney John Hearn to include stricter code enforcement and a strike system to document code violators. He also plans to visit Running Brook Hills to get a feel for the situation.

Mayor Brook said: ‘I believe we live in a fantastic community, and there are people who may be breaking our codes, and if they’re making a neighborhood unsafe, we need to do something about it.’

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Vacation rental and salvage home controversy erupts at City Hall 1
Bryan Boggiano

A graduate in journalism from the University of Florida, Bryan is pursuing his master’s degree in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment and journalism.

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