BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Any renter seeking a posh life on the strand in Belleair Shore for less than 30 days is out of luck.
That town's commission has approved a short term rental law at its meeting April 19 that actually belongs to Pinellas County but that will be enforced in Belleair Shore.
The county law does not allow leases of less than 30 days and even limits these to not more than three in any consecutive 12-month period.
What triggered the commission's interest in the subject have been instances of large amounts of people packed into a residence on a very short term basis.
In one case, a property was being used to house a large gang of construction workers.
The town also intends to adopt an ordinance requiring property owners who lease their property to register this information with the town.
Such an ordinance will modeled on what neighboring Belleair Beach does but Belleair Shore commissioners indicated they would impose the $100 registration fee as its neighbor does.
Police Chief Ernie Armistead of Belleair Beach, whose department also polices Belleair Shore, was on hand for the discussion of the leasing practice.
Taking advantage of Armistead's presence, Commissioner John Hayes brought up the subject of speeders on Gulf Boulevard and the safety issue of people trying to cross the boulevard.
Armistead indicated little could be done other than the rigid enforcement policy his department currently employs.
There is no chance of installing any speed impediments on the road itself and other devices like traffic lights just will not happen, Armistead said, because in spite of safety concerns there just aren't that many accidents on the road.
Armistead has proposed a strobe lighting device at crosswalks, but the expense, as explored by his own City Council, is prohibitive at $25,000 per crosswalk. But the chief said he is looking into some other devices to get motorists to stop at crosswalks for pedestrians.
Mayor John Robertson reported that peaceful days with Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue may be on the horizon, saying that the fire union wants attempts to recover money from plaintiffs who sued the department be dropped.
Robertson also praised John Todia of Indian Rocks Beach, a PSF&R commissioner, who has been an advocate for peace and moderation in the controversy between the district and officials of the cities it serves.
"We may be headed for peace and cooperation and let bygones be bygones," Robertson said, at the same time hinting that changes in the district, like expansion, may take place.
Budget talks are looming and Robertson said discussions would take place in May and June. As of now, final budget hearings are scheduled for September 6 and 20.
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