Thursday, July 23, 2020

Blake Romeyn Souder v. City of St. Augustine -- Short-term rental ordinance constitutionality challenged

Local resident activist, Flagler College alumnus and AirBnB owner Blake Romeyn Souder has sued the City of St. Augustine, challenging the constitutionality of its short-term rental ordinance, seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.   Florida Statute 509.032(7)(a) pre-empts regulation of the duration or frequency of short-term rentals, the lawsuit contends. St. Augustine's regulations are therefore illegal, it says.

The City ineptly claimed it was "grandfathered" by an ordinance that mentioned a time limit in a "whereas" clause, but not in the text of the ordinance.  The City is on thin ice and will likely lose.

The lawsuit was filed on July 14, 2020 and the plaintiff is represented by attorneys Keith A. Brady and David Michael Bonner Russell. The case is assigned to Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith.

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