2021 Holiday Party – December 11

Our annual holiday party will start at 6:00 pm on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Clearwater Beach Rec Center
RSVP so we have a good count for food. Email Sam at hutloan@aol.com

Bring a dish/dessert to share and augment the surprise from the Bay Star Restaurant Companies (many thanks to Frank Chivas and Island Way Grill, Marina Cantina, Rumba Island Bar & Grill, Salt Cracker Fish Camp, etc.)

We’ll have some soft drinks, wine and beer, but bring anything else you wish to drink.

Bring a white elephant gift.
Different groups have different rules for the iconic game (which supposedly has roots in the ancient kingdom of Siam, aka modern-day Thailand). But the basic premise is this: Gather a group of guests and have everyone bring one or more wrapped items, anonymously contributed to the pile. Some people prefer to mandate ridiculous gag gifts masquerading as legitimately covetable presents, while others opt for thoughtful must-haves.

But whether you call the game white elephant, Yankee swap or mean Santa, there’s almost certainly some level of gift stealing involved. See someone score a gift you want? Many groups bestow one or more free steals onto each participant. Absolutely hate the gift you got and want to unload it? Some circles allow for bargaining and sales pitches so unlucky participants can try to convince someone else in the crowd to trade presents.

December CBA Meeting

The next regular CBA meeting will be on Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 pm in the fellowship hall at Chapel by the Sea, 54 Bay Esplanade. 

Minutes from the last meeting and an agenda will be sent shortly to all those who have paid membership dues for 2021 and 2022.  Check our membership page for how to pay, including subscribing to our automatic annual renewal program.

If you have things you would like to discuss or hear about, please email CBA President Sam Hutkin at hutloan@aol.com  

  • The annual business meeting will be held the 7th.
  • Our holiday party will be December 11 at the Rec Center. (That way, if the boat parade is that evening, we can watch from there.) CBA will provide some food, and we’re all looking forward to your contributions of favorite holiday dishes.
  • Our neighborhood holiday lighted bike parade will be held December 18. 

FL House Regulatory Reform Committee Member List

AirbnbWATCH is a project bringing together a collection of organizations dedicated to a common goal: Protecting communities and travelers.   Action Alert   The House Regulatory Reform Committee will hear HB 219 Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 1:00 PM.
 

Please contact the committee members (contact info below) and tell them you OPPOSE HB 219, as currently drafted.
 
The meeting agenda is available here and you can watch the committee meetings via live stream here. As always, we will keep you updated on any new developments. Regulatory Reform Subcommittee Members   ·     Rep. Anthony Rodriguez
·     (305) 252-4352
·     Anthony.Rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Bob Rommel
·     (239) 417-6200
·     Bob.Rommel@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Anna Eskamani
·     (407) 228-1451
·     Anna.Eskamani@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Dan Daley
·     (954) 845-6005
·     Dan.Daley@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Mike Giallombardo
·     (239) 772-1291
·     Mike.Giallombardo@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil
·     (407) 623-1010
·     Joy.Goff-Marcil@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Tommy Gregory
·     (941) 708-5660
·     Tommy.Gregory@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Michael Grieco
·     (305) 993-1905
·     Michael.Grieco@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Joe Harding
·     (352) 291-4436
·     Joe.Harding@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Randy Maggard
·     (813) 780-0667
·     Randy.Maggard@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Amber Mariano
·     (727) 861-4806
·     Amber.Mariano@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Angie Nixon
·     (850) 717-5014
·     Angie.Nixon@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Anika Tene Omphroy
·     (954) 747-7933
·     Anika.Omphroy@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Toby Overdorf
·     (772) 221-4961
·     Toby.Overdorf@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Scott Plakon
·     (407) 262-7423
·     Scott.Plakon@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Will Robinson
·     (941) 708-4968
·     Will.Robinson@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Tyler Sirois
·     (321) 449-5111
·     Tyler.Sirois@myfloridahouse.gov
·     Rep. Jackie Toledo
·     (813) 281-5549
·     Jackie.Toledo@myfloridahouse.gov Suggested Email:
 
About Us
AirbnbWatch is a project bringing together a collection of organizations dedicated to a common goal: Protect communities and travelers by exposing commercial operators who use sites like Airbnb to run illegal hotels in residential properties under the radar and by making sure all hotel businesses play by the same rules.   AirbnbWATCH Florida | AirbnbwatchFL@gmail.com

City of Clearwater – Short Term Rentals

CODE COMPLIANCE
A Citizens Guide to Code Enforcement, City of Clearwater

Short-Term Residential Rental – CDC Sections 1-104.B & 3-919 • While Clearwater benefits, encourages and celebrates tourism, the city’s Code Compliance Division reminds residential property owners that the city enforces its shortterm rental ordinance. In residential districts, the city doesn’t allow a property owner to lease or rent their property for short-term periods, which is anything less than 31 days or a calendar month. Residential property owners who wish to rent their property can advertise for monthly rentals; they cannot advertise for daily or weekly rentals. • A residential use located on a residentially zoned property shall not include rentals for less than 31 days or one calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place rented for periods of less than 31 days or one calendar month, whichever is less. A residential use located on residentially zoned property shall not include an interval ownership, a fractional ownership or a timesharing unit.

Florida House Bill 219

Florida House Bill 219 – Short term rentals

FL H0219 | 2021 | Regular Session | LegiScan

Status

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)
Status: Introduced on January 12 2021 – 25% progression
Action: 2021-02-03 – Added to Regulatory Reform Subcommittee agenda
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF]

Summary

Preempts regulation of vacation rentals to state; prohibits local law, ordinance, or regulation from allowing or requiring inspections or licensing of public lodging establishments, including vacation rentals, or public food service establishments; requires licenses issued by Division of Hotels & Restaurants of DBPR to be displayed conspicuously to public inside licensed establishment.

Short Term Rentals

State Reps Should Leave Vacation Rentals to Locals

Opinion from Samuel Hutkin, Clearwater Beach Association President

The Florida legislature is taking another run at the short-term rental issue and legislators continue to make the same mistake over and over again – taking power away from communities on an issue that is inherently local. A workable solution must recognize that reality. 

Tallahassee lawmakers need to come to terms with the fact that residential communities have a legitimate interest in knowing who is passing through – whether they’re a sexual predator or carrying a new COVID variant. An under-resourced agency in Tallahassee is never going to be able to manage challenges like this in every corner of the state, nor should it attempt it. 

Governor DeSantis said as much last session – stating that it was a bad idea for the state to take over full responsibility of managing vacation rentals, that it’s an issue best handled at the local level. 

The Governor is right on this one. Our state is just too big and too diverse. And, while there are a lot of issues that local governments aren’t equipped to handle, zoning and land use – which is really the core of the vacation rental issue – simply isn’t one of them. 

Issues connected to zoning and land use may be an awkward add-on for a state agency; however, it’s the central function of local government. Most of the resources within local government – outside of basic services like trash collection – are geared toward managing issues related to land use. Check your local city or county meeting agenda this week. Eighty percent of it will be focused on variances and proposed construction projects. 

Very few cities are interested in banning vacation rentals, despite the rhetoric. Most just want to get a handle on things – which certainly makes sense during a global pandemic. “Party houses” which have always been a problem, have become particularly problematic in the COVID-era. 

Many cities, in fact, embrace vacation rentals in all areas. And, there are even more municipalities – probably a majority – that embrace short-term rentals in certain areas. We are, after all, a tourism-based economy. But the mix that makes sense on Clearwater Beach may not make sense at Seven Springs or Lutz.

The truth is that platform companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, in a very short period of time, have transformed our world. Much of it’s for the better but it’s not without trade-offs. Airbnb and similar vacation rental platforms have upended many residential communities. 

State lawmakers need to partner with local municipalities, not demonize them, to mitigate the worst elements of this brave new world. Getting a handle on this issue is only possible with a cooperative effort between state and local government – they already do it for the licensing and siting of almost every other commercial operation from power stations to liquor stores. 

The good news is that our region will be determinative on the issue – beyond Speaker Sprowls and Senate President Simpson, Senator Hooper is Chairman of the second committee hearing the issue and area lawmakers are scattered across all the committees. It’s time for our area lawmakers to put aside rhetoric and address this issue in a comprehensive and holistic way. Samuel Hutkin, President of Clearwater Beach Homeowner Association

Pinellas residents, businesses urged to follow mask ordinance as COVID cases rise

Local State of Emergency extended through Dec. 11

  • COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in Pinellas, threatening hospital capacity and vulnerable residents
  • Sheriff’s Office announces additional compliance efforts at bars, restaurants and other businesses
  • Residents urged to mask up and practice social distancing in public to stop the spread

With COVID-19 cases reaching levels not seen since the summer, Pinellas County leaders are urging businesses and residents to follow the local protocols requiring face coverings at indoor public places and social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.

Over the past month, new cases per day have tripled and the percentage of people testing positive has doubled, reaching 8.4 percent on November 29 compared to 4.2 percent on October 30. Patients on ventilators have also nearly doubled in that time, from 32 to 57. Increases in deaths typically lag one to two weeks behind increases in new cases.

The County’s local ordinance remains in place, but an increasing number of people ignoring the mask rule at bars and other businesses, combined with flu season and holiday gatherings, are expected to cause a further spike in cases through the end of the year.

The Sheriff’s Office is placing new signage at local businesses to remind staff and patrons of the protocol and will follow up at those businesses reported to be consistently violating the ordinance.

Pinellas County Administrator Barry A. Burton and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri were joined by County Commission Chair Pat Gerard, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard at a Thursday news conference to underscore a new countywide push for stronger compliance. (Video of the Thursday news conference, including American Sign Language interpretation, is available on Pinellas County’s Facebook page.)

“We want to stay open and we want to stay safe. We want our businesses to thrive and we want to help them in doing these simple measures to keep everybody safe so we can continue to operate just as we are,” Burton said.

Deputies recently traveled around the county and found 40 percent of bars and 8 percent of restaurants in violation of the ordinance, including staff not wearing masks, Sheriff Gualtieri said.

“These things are required by law. Wearing a mask is not fun, but the alternative is worse,” he said.

“Fines and penalties are not suspended for businesses, so if we have to go down that path, we can. We don’t want to. We need the businesses, again, to help us help you – to help the community,” he said. 

Continuing to mask up in public and practice social distancing is the only option for eliminating the virus, protecting people and keeping businesses open until a vaccine is widely available, which isn’t expected until next year, according to federal health officials.

Face masks have been proven effective in reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases, both in the Tampa Bay area and nationwide.

Burton and Gualtieri are hosting a Facebook Live Event on Friday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. to answer questions about the new countywide compliance effort.

Pinellas County has also extended its State of Local Emergency for COVID-19 through December 11. The extension was issued by County Administrator Barry A. Burton by delegated authority from the Board of County Commissioners.

The extension keeps in effect a County ordinance requiring face coverings within public places, and restaurants and bars to serve only patrons who are seated. Public health officials continue to closely monitor the 7-day rolling averages for new COVID-19 cases, percentage of positive tests, hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity.

For the latest information on Pinellas County’s COVID-19 response, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Kimberly H. Greenleaf

Executive Aide to Commissioner Dave Eggers
Pinellas Board of County Commissioners, District 4
315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL  33756
727-464-3276 office 727-464-3022 fax
kgreenleaf@pinellascounty.org www.pinellascounty.org

Parking on North Beach – numbers to call for enforcement (updated June 2020)

Call numbers for illegal parking complaints in residential area Acacia Street and North:

Enforcement has been enhanced in the North Beach Residential District to eliminate illegal parking and enforce other safety violations.  If you have a complaint regarding illegal parking in the North beach Residential District, please call the numbers as outlined below:

Daily from 8am – 6pm call 727-562-4707, opt 2 (Marina Parking office) or opt 3 (Supervisor).  This office does not handle parking citations but will forward parking complaints to the enforcement team via the radio.  Fastest way to get a live person.

Weekdays, 8am – 4:30pm, email parkingticket@myclearwater.com or call the Parking Enforcement office at 727-562-4084 (may need to leave a voicemail due to high call volume).

After 6pm, call the non-emergency number at the CPD 727-562-4242 and they will radio our staff in the field directly.

Call numbers to request Installation of parking spaces or no parking signage:

To request installation of parking spaces or “NO PARKING” signs along your property, call the Engineering Department at 727-562-4776 or Engineering’s main line at 727-562-4750.

Construction/Contractor Vehicle Parking Procedures

Unmarked construction vehicles must visibly display a business card on their windshield to show they are a legitimate business.  It should include the business name, phone number, and address.

Notifications for construction/contractor parking needs that will take more than one day are be reported to the Parking System via email to parkingticket@myclearwater.com.

The email needs to include the following information:

  • Name of Contractor
  • Make and Model of Vehicle(s) (tag numbers if possible)
  • Start Date and End Date of project
  • Contact name, phone number and email
  • Address/location of work being done

 Clearly marked construction/contractor vehicles will not need to display their business card, however, all the above procedures will apply if they have parking needs for more than one day.

Citations will not be dismissed for failure to notify the Parking System of the arrangements or failure to display the business card on the windshield.

Block Party – Suspend Enforcement Requests

The resident would need to contact our Parking System at the main office line, 727-562-4704, between 8:30am – 4:30 pm Monday-Friday, with a minimum of 48 hours’ notice.  We would notify Parking Enforcement.

North Beach Parking Procedures

Lisa Hayes, Parking Enforcement Supervisor
Has provided the following information as a reminder of procedures.

Call numbers for illegal parking complaints in residential area Acacia Street and North:

Enforcement has been enhanced in the North Beach Residential District to eliminate illegal parking and enforce other safety violations. If you have a complaint regarding illegal parking in the North beach Residential District, please call the numbers as outlined below:

Daily from 8am – 6pm call 727-562-4707, opt 2 (Marina Parking office) or opt 3 (Supervisor). This office does not handle parking citations but will forward parking complaints to the enforcement team via the radio. Fastest way to get a live person.

Weekdays, 8am – 4:30pm, email parkingticket@myclearwater.com or call the Parking Enforcement office at 727-462-6312 (may need to leave a voicemail due to high call volume).

After 6pm, call the non-emergency number at the CPD 727-562-4242 and they will radio our staff in the field directly.

Call numbers to request Installation of parking spaces or no parking signage:
To request installation of parking spaces or “NO PARKING” signs along your property, call the Engineering Department at 727-562-4776 or Engineering’s main line at 727-562-4750.

Construction/Contractor Vehicle Parking Procedures
Unmarked construction vehicles must visibly display a business card on their windshield to show they are a legitimate business. It should include the business name, phone number, and address.
Notifications for construction/contractor parking needs that will take more than one day are be reported to the Parking System via email to parkingticket@myclearwater.com.
The email needs to include the following information:
• Name of Contractor
• Make and Model of Vehicle(s) (tag numbers if possible)
• Start Date and End Date of project
• Contact name, phone number and email
• Address/location of work being done

Clearly marked construction/contractor vehicles will not need to display their business card, however, all the above procedures will apply if they have parking needs for more than one day.

Citations will not be dismissed for failure to notify the Parking System of the arrangements or failure to display the business card on the windshield.

Block Party – Suspend Enforcement Requests
The resident would need to contact our Parking System at the main office line, 727-562-4704, between 8:30am – 4:30 pm Monday-Friday, with a minimum of 48 hours’ notice. We would notify Parking Enforcement.