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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jul. 29, 2019 6 months ago

Vacation rentals boom locally: Good or bad?

Ormond Beach area is ranked 218 in the nation.
by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor

A study recently completed by the website AllTheRooms shows that the Ormond Beach and Ormond-by-the-Sea area is ranked 218 of the 500 fastest growing markets for vacation rentals of single-family homes in the United States.

AllTheRooms, based in New York, is the world’s first vacation rental search engine, gathering information from various websites, according to spokeswoman Andrea Ramirez. The company also provides data to agencies such as Visit Florida.

The rental of private homes for vacationers has pros and cons. While it brings visitors to an area, income for homeowners and a residential experience for vacationers, it can be controversial when rentals violate codes or make neighborhoods more transient in nature.

Ramirez said a factor that probably contributed to the growth in vacation rental supply was the drop in mortgage rates in 2019, which improves the potential returns for investors in buy-to-rent properties.

In the study, published in May for the previous 12 months, Palm Coast was ranked 25, Daytona Beach Shores, 78 and New Smyrna Beach, 147.




A map provided by AllTheHomes shows vacation rentals occurring throughout the beachside in both Ormond Beach and Ormond-by-the-Sea.

In Ormond-by-the-Sea, which is unincorporated Volusia County, residential zones require a minimum of 30-day rentals, including houses and condos. There are some tourism zones along the coast that allow shorter terms, but otherwise the barrier island is largely residential.

Rentals in Ormond Beach residential zoning areas require at least six-month terms for single-family homes as well as rooms in homes. Beachside Ormond Beach is residential, except for some areas east of State Road A1A, zoned for tourism business, where shorter terms are legal.

“Short-term rental in the city of Ormond Beach is defined as transient lodging and is not a permitted, conditional, or special exception use within the city’s residential zoning districts,” said Planning Director Stephen Spraker in an email.

A residential zoning description on states, “Use of dwelling units for transient lodging is prohibited in order to protect and maintain the residential character of the zoning district.” 

A random check of the Airbnb website showed homes in Ormond Beach advertised as “200 yards to the beach,” “walking distance to the beach” and “one block to the beach,” revealing they are west of S.R. A1A.

AllTheRooms provided a snapshot of stay lengths in zipcode 32176, which is the beachside. Based on 218 listings on Airbandb, the average length of stay was 4.44 days. It’s not known how many were in the residential zone.




A resident of Ormond-by-the-Sea, who didn’t want to be named, said he has considered renting his home when he goes on vacation to pay for expenses, noting that several people on his street rent their homes.

Asked if most of his neighbors rent their homes for less than a month, he said, “Oh, absolutely.”

He said the rentals don’t normally bother him, but he understands when residents get upset by frequent turnover of renters at a house that continually rents short term.

Last spring during Bike Week, there was a dispute about noise in Ormond-by-the-Sea between neighbors and homeowners who rented their home to several bikers, and it was reported in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Chris Hutchinson, code compliance manager for Volusia County, said If they find an illegal rental, it’s handled as a county code violation. Spraker also said violations in Ormond Beach are investigated by code enforcement.

In 2011, the state of Florida passed a law stating that local municipalities cannot set an ordinance governing the frequency or duration of home rentals, but the codes of Ormond Beach and Volusia County were grandfathered in. Occasionally, a state legislator proposes a bill that would disallow the local ordinances, but none have passed, so far.




Bob Davis, CEO of the Hotel and Lodging Association of Volusia County, calls short-term rentals through online sources a “huge crisis.”

Those who rent out their property for less than six months are required to pay a 6% resort tax, whether it’s a house, condo or hotel. This applies throughout the county, including Ormond Beach. The county does not have a collection system set up with online companies, so it depends on homeowners to self-report.

“We must stop illegal Airbnb’s and only allow in designated areas that are zoned for them.”

BOB DAVIS, Hotel and Lodging Association of Volusia County


If a rental does not pay the tourism tax, then the county loses money. Half of the resort tax goes to pay the mortgage of the Ocean Center and half goes for tourism promotion.

Davis has been going to the County Council for four years, he said, to ask for enforcement measures such as those instituted in Miami and other locations. He said recently that some council members are working on it, but it’s coming slowly.

“We must stop illegal Airbnb’s and only allow in designated areas that are zoned for them,” he said. “They should not be allowed in the neighborhoods.”

Private home rental also hurts the hotel industry, he said. This year, for the first time, he saw vacancies at hotels along State Road A1A during Bike Week and Speedweeks. (Observers also say the events are attracting fewer visitors).

Davis also said rentals take away needed workforce housing.

For information about the tourism tax, visit


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