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. Largo commissioners raise ceiling on next year's property tax rate

    Local Government

    LARGO — The proposed budget included a recommendation for the property tax rate to remain the same, but city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase the maximum rate in a move to give city officials more flexibility.

    City Manager Henry Schubert says the city needs to take a look at its operation.
  2. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  3. Dade City's Wild Things touts cub encounters as conservation, but experts say they lead to too many tigers languishing in cages

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — A lifelong animal lover, Lisa Graham was intrigued when she saw photos on social media of friends cuddling and petting baby tigers at zoos.

    A tiger named Andy is seen at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit sanctuary committed to humane treatment of rescued animals, often coming from exploitive for-profit operations. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  4. Once close to death in Ukraine, sick girl finds hope in Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    Everything was packed for Walt Disney World. Clothes for three nights. The pressurized air vest and pump that travel with her. The dress she would wear to meet Cinderella.

    Marina Khimko, 13, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment Dec. 7 at the Shriners Hospital for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Thursday, July 27

    News

    href="http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2015/graphics/macros/css/base.css"> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Marina Khimko, now 14, pauses for a moment during a walking exercise to test her prosthetic legs at a fitting appointment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children's Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services in Tampa.  [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]