On behalf of the RVCA Board of Directors and in response to requests of Rio Vista residents I have been attempting to have permanent 4 way stop signs added to SE 11 Avenue in Rio Vista since early 2019.
We have come to a point where we are in need of additional advocacy from your office as this matter is beyond the scope of City authority despite extensive work from Sorensen and TAM. Some background:
- In May of 2019 a County traffic study found 4-way stops signs not warranted based on the guidelines. (attached & below)
- In December of 2019 subsequent to a sewer main break temporary signs were placed at SE 7 Street and SE 8th Street along SE 11 Avenue as a part of an MOT to address construction traffic. No complaints about the additional stop signs were provided to the RVCA at any point.
- In June of 2021 the County conducted an additional traffic study making the same findings. (attached & below)
- In Summer 2021 the County advised the signs at SE 8th Street and SE 7th Street on SE 11 Avenue were not permitted to be at the locations. With the help of City TAM we were able to keep them there due to ongoing work still related to the sewer main break.
- On November 19, 2021 the County required the signs be removed, residents were outraged and flooded my email with complaints, which were reiterated at our General Meeting.
Several of our residents have raised concerns regarding short-term vacation rentals in our neighborhoods. These properties have the potential to significantly impact the quality of life for their neighbors with large groups of people coming and going each week and disrupting the peace and quiet of our neighborhood. Unlike some neighborhoods that are empowered through covenants attaching to their properties, the RVCA is a voluntary association and has no enforcement powers. We must rely on City ordinances to mitigate the negative impacts of these properties. This article will identify and summarize the primary ordinances governing these properties and provide you with information about how you can register a complaint when you believe a property is in violation.
In December of 2016, the Fort Lauderdale city commission passed ordinance C-16-25 which amended Article X – VACATION RENTALS, of chapter 15 of the city code of ordinances.
The full text of the ordinance can be found here: Ft Lauderdale VR Ordinance
In summary, the ordinance establishes a registration program for any vacation rental, it defines the process by which registrations may be applied for and the penalties for failure to register. It specifies several life safety items (smoke detectors, pool fences, etc.) that must be present and empowers the city to inspect the property annually to ensure compliance. It further establishes limits on the number of people allowed on the property, rules regarding parking, a requirement to adhere to noise ordinances and various penalties for violations.
According to the city attorney’s office, this is about as far as the city can go in terms of regulating vacation rentals. In fact, there has been a bill introduced in Tallahassee each of the last several years which would strip the city of the right to regulate these properties. It would grandfather our existing ordinance as long as it is not amended. Fortunately, these bills have not passed the legislature. It will likely come up again next session so keep your eyes out and inform your representatives of your opinion.
The primary complaints residents have regarding vacation rental properties are noise related. City ordinance chapter 17-NOISE CONTROL sets out the rules and restrictions pertaining to Noise levels. The most relevant terms are found in 17-7 Specific Restrictions:
1.Amplified sound. No person shall cause, allow, or permit the operation of any amplified sound device from the following use districts or locations in the following manner:
i.Sound shall not be plainly audible for a period of one (1) minute or longer at a distance of twenty-five (25) feet or more when measured from the source property line between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. daily.
ii.Sound shall not be plainly audible for a period of one (1) minute or longer at a distance of fifty (50) feet or more when measured from the source property line between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily.
The full text of the ordinance can be found here: Noise Control Ordinance
How to Report Violations:
For violations of the Vacation Rental Ordinance you should check the city’s vacation rental website at Ft Lauderdale VR Program Page
Noise complaints should also be phoned to the customer service number: 954-828-8000. If you are a subscriber to Protect Rio Vista, you may contact the patrol directly if they are on duty.
Please do not hesitate to enter a complaint if you know of a property that is non-compliant. Only by strict enforcement of our current ordinances can we mitigate the impact of these properties on our enjoyment of the neighborhood. RVCA will continue to work closely with our Commissioner and the city to establish constraints to the extent permissible by state statute.
Your RVCA Board