‘Neighbor vs neighbor’: Council to decide fate of short term rentals in Volusia

The frustration over short-term rentals is no secret in Bethune Beach. 

There are bright green signs all over the small beach community in Volusia County, urging to keep short-term rentals out. 

Residents like Christine Petersen said they have made the neighborhoods feel like a revolving door and said there have been many complaints.

"The parking issues, the traffic issues, the filth, the garbage," she said. 

Currently, short-term rentals under 30 days in unincorporated areas of the county are in violation of the county code. Residents want to keep it that way.

"So pretty much if you leave our zoning alone, they’re not gonna be permitted unless they’re over 30 days, and I don’t see a problem with it being over 30 days," said Petersen. 

Sitting next to the green signs are yellow signs put up by the Vacation Rental Home Alliance, a group that disagrees with residents like Petersen.

"Right now, we are a little bit of neighbor versus neighbor. There’s a lot of ambiguity," said president Richard Feller.

Feller said he thinks it's time to clarify the ordinance to allow short-term rentals under 30 days in unincorporated communities like Bethune Beach.

He said it’s keeping tourism money out.

"It’s a sad state when people are being told you cannot come vacation in Volusia County. If you want to come, you have to stay at these pre-approved locations," he said. 

As for the complaints, he thinks actual violations of things like trash and parking, shouldn’t be blamed on short-term rentals.

"I just think it’s a way to tack on to something you don’t like, you know, you kind of associate it with the bad and it makes it look bad," he said. 

Tuesday, Volusia County Council will decide the future of short-term rentals. Council members are expected to vote on changes if any to the current ordinance. 

Feller said the decision would impact about 1,600 short-term rentals in unincorporated communities. 

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