Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Considers Rental Limitations; Parties, Lack of Parking Anger Residents

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Considers Rental Limitations; Parties, Lack of Parking Anger Residents

Article excerpt

Byline: Caren Burmeister, Shorelines staff writer

No more than three unrelated tenants could share a rental property under a proposed Neptune Beach ordinance intended to curb parking problems and loud parties that wake neighbors.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing and preliminary vote Monday on a bill drafted by the city attorney to limit the number of non-family members who can share a house or apartment.

A violation would be treated as a code enforcement matter, giving landlords time to comply and authorizing the city to issue fines if they don't.

About 20 residents spoke on the ordinance at Monday's council workshop, and they were evenly divided on its merits.

Beth Schultz, who lives on Valley Forge Road North, said she's tired of her neighbors waking her with drunken whoops, loud music and squealing tires.

"I come from a different generation," Schultz said. "They start at midnight and go all night."

Margaret Street resident Bonita Costner told the council nine men share an apartment near her home. Their parties wake her at 2 a.m., making it difficult to go back to sleep and get up at 5 a.m. for work.

"They are lovely kids. . . . one at a time," Costner said. "I've lost all this sleep, then I'm mean."

Theresa Thomas said she's been awakened so many times at 2 a.m. that "I can almost set my clock by it now."

But several landlords countered that the city needs to enforce laws on parking and loud partying.

"We need to enforce the things we have in place," said Judy Bost, who lives on Walnut Street. "Enforcement is the key word."

Bob Grovenstein, an Atlantic Beach resident who leases property in Neptune Beach, said he thought the city was discriminating against landlords and he opposed it.

"This is another layer of bureaucracy that we don't need," he said.

One landlord noted that rising property taxes at the Beaches forced them to raise the rent, which means it must be shared by multiple tenants. …

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