Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete Beach homeowner taking vacation rental fight to court

ST. PETE BEACH — Planning Board member, hotel owner and longtime resident Ron Holehouse told the city through his attorney Tuesday that he plans to fight a code violation action in court.

The city's special magistrate, John Elias, agreed to postpone his review of the case as long as Holehouse stops renting a part of his Pass-a-Grille home to tourists and files a motion in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court within the next 30 days.

Holehouse will be seeking a declaratory judgment from the court that the use of part of his house, at 113 12th Ave., for tourist lodging is legal.

"He has agreed to not rent it while the code issue is being resolved. His position is that the tourist lodging is a grandfathered use, but we don't have anything in our records that indicates it is," City Manager Mike Bonfield said.

In July, the city issued a notice of violation to Holehouse, alleging that he was improperly renting part of his home to tourists and that he had remodeled part of the home without first securing a building permit.

At the time, Holehouse had denied the city's request to inspect his home to determine whether the allegations were true.

In August, Holehouse and his attorney, David Bacon, met with City Manager Mike Bonfield and Community Development Director Karl Holley to discuss the matter.

After that meeting, the special magistrate postponed any action to allow Bacon to research legal issues involving the tourist usage of the property.

"It is the position of Mr. Holehouse that such living space (used for short term rentals) lawfully exists," Bacon said at the time.

Bonfield said the city's code inspector is working with Holehouse regarding the remodeling issues to ensure the work was done according to code and possibly issue an after-the-fact permit.

The city has also cited Holehouse for unpermitted work on another property he owns in Pass-a-Grille.

Holehouse could not be reached for comment.

In addition to renting out part of his home, Holehouse also owns the Inn on the Beach, at 1401 Gulf Way in Pass-a-Grille — a tourist lodging that has 12 rooms and five cottages that are rented out year-round.

Holehouse has been active in city politics for years, serving on a variety of committees and boards, including the city's Board of Adjustment.

Most recently he was among a number of Pass-a-Grille residents who successfully fought to stop rezoning of the nearby Coconut Inn.

The Coconut Inn, one block to the south at 113 11th Ave., has a back lot that fronts on Holehouse's street, almost directly across from Holehouse's property.

The lot is used for parking for the inn, but owner Joe Caruso had hoped to be able to eventually rebuild using part of that lot.

That hope died last month when the City Commission for the second time turned down his request for Traditional Hotel District zoning.

Caruso has yet to file his threatened lawsuit against the city over that rejection. The deadline to file is Sept. 23.

Meanwhile, he is still suing the city over its rescinding of a building permit to put a gazebo on the Coconut Inn back lot.

St. Pete Beach homeowner taking vacation rental fight to court 09/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa driver dies after swerving off Interstate 4 into canal

    Accidents

    PLANT CITY — A Tampa driver swerved off Interstate 4 Wednesday morning, plunging into a canal in a fatal crash, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

  2. Editorial: Scott should keep demanding better for seniors in nursing homes

    Editorials

    The horrific story of elderly Floridians dying from the heat in a Broward County nursing home after surviving Hurricane Irma grows more outrageous. Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott's move to prevent it from accepting new …

    Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s move to prevent it from accepting new patients or Medicaid payments.
  3. DCF announces $133 million in federal aid for low-income families who lost food during Irma

    Hurricanes

    An additional $133 million is being distributed to Florida low-income families to help replace food destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced today.

    The United States Department of Agriculture has made $133 million available to Florida low-income families to help them replace food damaged during Hurricane Irma
  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.