Noisey vacation rental home declared public nuisance

This vacation rental home at 313 Magnolia Ave. has been declared a public nuisance. – Joe Hendricks | sun

ANNA MARIA – Special Magistrate Jerry Buhr has declared a vacation rental home at 313 Magnolia Ave. to be a public nuisance due to repeated noise ordinance violations.

The city of Anna Maria now plans to file a lawsuit against the property owners, which could potentially result in the suspension of the property owners’ city-issued vacation rental license.

Code Enforcement Manager Sandy Olson presented the city’s case and its requested actions to Buhr during the May 18 code enforcement hearing at city hall. In addition to having the Magnolia property declared a nuisance, the city also sought $389 for administrative fees, court reporter fees and case-related postage.

The vacation rental home is owned by Mangoes on Magnolia LLC, registered to Orlando-based brothers Mukesh and Raju Patel, both of whom attended Wednesday’s hearing remotely on Zoom. According to Olson, the rental property is managed by Vacasa and the hearing agenda referenced the Vacasa office in Holmes Beach.

“This property has been cited for noise violations on five separate occasions within a period of nine months. Section 26-95 (of the city code of ordinances) states that three or more violations occurring at the same premises within any 12-month rolling period shall be deemed prima facie evidence that the premises is a public nuisance,” Olson said during reopening remarks. Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies issued noise violation citations to rental guests at 313 Magnolia Ave. on June 5, 2021, Aug. 28, 2021, Oct. 9, 2021, Oct. 22, 2021, and March 16 of this year.

Olson’s presentation included testimony given by deputies Paul Boos and Max Penberthy. Boos issued the first noise ordinance violation citation and Penberthy issued the next four. The deputies provided detailed accounts of each encounter that resulted in a citation being issued. Olson also presented body camera videos that documented the deputies’ encounters with those receiving citations.

Noisey vacation rental home declared public nuisance
Sandy Olson, left, presented the city case to Special Magistrate Jerry Buhr, which included testimony from Deputy Max Penberthy. – Joe Hendricks | sun

All five citations were issued as a result of the loud music and/or talking the deputy heard when responding to a noise complaint. In each instance, the deputies explained to the rental guest that the first offense results in a $35 fine for the person renting the home, with the fines escalating to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense during the same rental period.

Cindy McAnulty and her husband own the duplex at 311 Magnolia Ave. and made four of the five noise complaints that resulted in citations being issued. McAnulty said the couple lives in one unit and uses their other unit as a vacation rental that’s never been the subject of a noise complaint.

McAnulty said she’s a sound sleeper but has often been awakened by the noise coming from the house next door. She also said some of her vacation rental guests have mentioned the noise next door.

John Jarmon lives at 315 Magnolia Ave. and he also tested. He said he has not yet called the sheriff’s office, but there have been several occasions when the loud noise coming from 313 Magnolia woke him up.

Corrective actions

Patel said he notified Vacasa after the city made him aware of each noise violation. Patel also referenced a letter he sent to Olson on May 10 which detailed the efforts now being made to resolve the noise issues. Patel’s letter states he provided McAnulty with his direct contact information and asked her to share it with her neighbors. The letter states a face-to-face meeting was to be coordinated so McAnulty and Vacasa representatives can discuss these concerns in person.

According to the letter, a noise alert system was installed in the pool area and is programmed to set off an alarm when guests exceed the allowed noise threshold. Additional noise-related notices were posted inside the house and signs were placed on two pool gates and in the pool area.

Patel’s letter says guests will now be evicted if cited for a noise ordinance violation, that the rental home is now being offered at a five-night minimum and the person renting the home has to be at least 25 years old.

Noisey vacation rental home declared public nuisance
The hearing agenda references the Vacasa office in Holmes Beach. – Google Maps | Submitted

During her closing arguments, Olson said, “One of the respondents, Vacasa LLC, has actually failed to appear at today’s proceeding. They were noticed, just as Mangroves on Magnolia was. It’s important to recognize that Vacasa is the property manager of 313 Magnolia Ave. and therefore they address the day-to-day operations.”

Olson impressed upon Buhr that Vacasa’s failure to appear at the hearing or oppose the city’s actions was “extremely telling.”

She said the property owners’ recent efforts have no bearing on the noise violations that already occurred, which she noted were most ever issued for a property in Anna Maria.

Buhr declared 313 Magnolia Ave. to be a public nuisance and ordered the owners to pay the city $389 in fees and costs.

“I’ve to tell you Mr. Patel, this is pretty appalling treatment of your neighbors. I believe you should have done something after the first citation. You then received four additional citations on top of that,” Buhr said.

Noisy vacation rental home declared a public nuisance
Special Magistrate Jerry Buhr declared the vacation rental home to be a public nuisance. – Joe Hendricks | sun

City Attorney Becky Vose said, “The next step will be in court.”

Vose declined to provide any additional details on the city’s pending legal action, but the agenda for the Thursday, May 26 city commission meeting includes an item that references litigation, a declared nuisance and noise violations at 313 Magnolia Ave.

During past noise ordinance discussions, Vose stated a rental property declared a public nuisance could result in the suspension of its city-issued vacation rental license and the loss of the right to operate as a vacation rental.

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