Bert Harris counteroffers made

Anna Maria Bert Harris
The owners of this beachfront vacation rental home at 107 Elm St. have been offered a 10-person occupancy limit in hopes of settling a Bert Harris claim. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners recently approved three more Bert Harris claim settlement offers, including one for a beachfront home at 107 Elm St. owned by Graham and Hazel Hansen.

The Hansens requested a 10-person occupancy limit for their rental home. The city originally offered an eight-person occupancy limit that the Hansens rejected. On March 22, the commission voted 4-1 in support of increasing the occupancy offer to 10. Commissioner Carol Carter opposed that action. She said the home is very narrow and the bedrooms are very small and she questioned the need for the extra occupancy.

The commission unanimously approved a 14-person occupancy offer for a home at 211 Chilson Ave. owned by Lakeland-based O&S Holdings.

The commission unanimously approved a counteroffer for a 14-person occupancy limit at 211 Willow Ave. The home is owned by Allen Weinstein and Alison Boak. One of the city’s previous counteroffers included an offer to buy the home for $1.79 million. The owners rejected that offer.

According to City Clerk LeAnne Addy’s monthly report, the city has settled 93 Bert Harris claims, is awaiting client decisions on six settlement offers and is awaiting client signatures for 13 accepted settlement offers.

The city has made settlement offers on all 122 of the Bert Harris claims received in 2016 and 2017. The period to file a claim expired in early 2017. The claims were filed in response to the eight-person occupancy limit contained in the vacation rental ordinance adopted in late 2015.

The Bert Harris claims are an attempt to offset lost rental income or reduced property value as a result of the city’s vacation rental occupancy limits.