Short-Term Rental Rules
Rental agents and property owners should be aware of Town regulations intended to ensure that the concerns of permanent residents are balanced with the use of residential property for commercial rental.
To maintain the stability of residential neighborhoods, where single-family detached homes are the predominant land use, permitted dwelling units located in the RS (Residential Single-Family) zoning district are generally restricted to rental for transient lodging to once in any given one-month period.(1)
The general restriction of lodging uses in the RS district is that any permitted dwelling unit may be rented no more often than once per month, with a minimum stay of one (1) week. Note that a month is defined specifically as a calendar month. Rentals of residential units are further limited to no more than one single family.
Many problems with lodging uses in the RS zoning district can be avoided if realtors and property managers explain these restrictions to their clients and ensure that rentals booked through their offices fall within these limitations. Realtors, property managers, and property owners who handle their own rentals may only rent units within the restrictions of the Town’s LDC, and must keep their rental units properly licensed with the State of Florida, and regularly pay all applicable taxes. Garbage pickup should be arranged so that the containers are not placed at the curb any earlier than 24 hours before pickup, and do not remain at the curb more than 24 hours after pickup.
Certain properties zoned RS are exempt from certain restrictions on rental use, namely those properties located seaward of Estero Boulevard and those directly adjoining Estero Boulevard. In addition to these are certain properly registered properties that were recognized in 2003 as having been rented for multiple short-term periods before 2003 and that have continued to maintain registration with the Town as short-term rental properties annually since recognition.
A copy of the Town’s official zoning map can be downloaded and printed from here (OFFICIAL ZONING MAP) to locate any given property and its zoning. The entire LDC, which contains the regulations summarized here, is also available here (FORT MYERS BEACH LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE).
Maintaining and improving the quality of life on Fort Myers Beach by restricting commercial activities from intruding into residential neighborhoods are public efforts. The success of these efforts will be proportionate to the degree of participation by residents, property owners, and the professionals who assist them. Your continued cooperation is appreciated by your neighbors, and encourages a pleasant residential environment where permanent and seasonal residents, and temporary visitors, can enjoy life together on Estero Island
The extent of roads, sidewalks, parking areas, and other infrastructure and amenities in and around these neighborhoods is appropriate for the less intense use that results from annual residency rather than transient rentals. The residents of such neighborhoods have a reasonable expectation of quiet, cleanliness, and order. One of the policies of the Town is to restrict commercial intrusion into residential neighborhoods. The strain on infrastructure and reduced neighborhood cohesion that results from commercial use of low density residential neighborhoods has a detrimental impact on all members of the community. Your cooperation in maintaining the Town’s community standards is appreciated.
Please to contact the Department of Community Development at Town Hall with any questions about the Short-Term Rental regulations. Office Hours are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Tel. 239-765-0202; Fax 239-765-0591
(1) Fort Myers Beach Land Development Code (LDC) Sec. 34-622, Table 34-1, and Table 34-2 provide the specific limitations on the rental of dwelling units in the RS zoning district.