FL - Seidman: The fight against ‘hotel houses’ on barrier islands

Residents are upset and alarmed over new high-occupancy construction built, operated and marketed for short-term tourist rentals in residential neighborhoods.

The newly-constructed home, located on a quiet Lido Key residential street, is elegant and palatial. It has six bedrooms and baths, an elevator, a wide balcony overlooking a hot tub, pool and manicured grounds and, leading to the second floor front door, a grandiose curved staircase, like something out of a movie scene.

On Airbnb, where you can book a reservation for just under $1,000 a night, it’s called “The Big Top.” Which seems a little ironic given that the circus-like atmosphere that often prevails when up to 16 visiting tourists take over the venue is exactly what residents of the single family homes nearby are objecting to.

“They are always seeking to maximize their vacation days (and nights) so there’s always lot of music, shouting, yelling, laughing and splashing in the front yard pool,” says Mike Adkinson, who lives next door to The Big Top. “When we decided to make this major purchase five years ago, we wanted to enjoy a quiet, peaceful, friendly neighborhood with mutual respect. That’s not what you experience when the full, often over-loaded house next door fills up with a different crew every weekend.”

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