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Jacksonville City Council panel to investigate short-term rentals issue

Unlike the majority of Florida counties, Duval County has yet to figure out a way forward regarding regulation of short-term rentals.

Zoning doesn’t accommodate them currently, and as a result, Jacksonville is missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue.

A Jacksonville City Council committee looks to change that with findings due by the end of April.

Rolled out this week, the Special Committee on Short-Term Vacation Rentals is charged with making “recommendations on the City’s zoning and other laws to determine whether there are limitations on the ability of short-term vacation rental uses to operate in the City and to ensure their compatibility with other adjacent or nearby uses if they were allowed.”

As well, the committee will look at issues of taxation, regulation, and “leasing strategies” used to circumvent long-term leases.

Danny Becton. is leading the committee. He will be joined on the panel by newly appointed Ju’Coby Pittman and second-termer Jim Love.

Of the three, Love is the only one with on-the-record comments on short-term rentals thus far.

“Maybe it would be better to forgive them and collect the money,” said Love, calling the matter a “sticky wicket” in his district, which includes touristy areas in Riverside and Avondale.

Jacksonville’s code has struggled to keep up with certain aspects of the 21st-century economy.

The city has a similar stalemate on vehicles for hire that has lasted years through a fragmented special committee paralyzed into inertia by competing advocates for Uber/Lyft and traditional cabs.

The city continues to suspend medallion fees for vehicles, and suffers fiscal loss, according to the bill summary for the latest extension of the medallion-fee moratorium: “Revenue loss from medallion renewals payments and late fees; when the moratorium was enacted in December 2015 there were 1,146 vehicle-for-hire medallions renewable at a cost of $100 per year; the late renewal fee is $10 per month after the deadline.”

The math on that, just as is the case with short-term rental collections, runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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