‘ City Council candidate linked to Airbnb complaints – Action News Jax

NEPTUNE BEACH, Florida – Neptune Beach is a quiet beach community and Steve Hould wants it to continue. He complained about the Airbnb next door, which is owned by City Council candidate Christine Burke.

When Ben Becker of Action News Jax asked him how his relationship with his neighbor was going, he replied, “Tense.”

An Action News Jax investigation found that Burke received two cease-and-desist orders from Neptune Beach code enforcement in 2017 for “advertising and/or renting your property for less than to 28 days” — short-term rentals “expressly prohibited” at Neptune Beach for two decades.

“They stay for 2-3 days and they’re gone,” Hould said.

Hould sent Becker photos from the past six years of many of Burke’s driveway cars — including those from as far away as Texas, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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Burke posted about the issue on social media saying the cease and desist letters were due to “visits to family and friends, whose stays varied in length.”

Our Action News Jax survey found that between 2017 and 2022, Burke’s property received 114 Airbnb reviews — that’s 18 1/2 a year for six years — but there can only be 13 a year if you rent 28 days. These numbers do not include people who may have stayed at the property but did not leave a review at all.

A review from November 2020 said they enjoyed “our week in Jacksonville” and another from last May said “I had a fabulous two weeks” at the house.

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Both reviews said they stayed less than 28 days.

Burke said in a video post on social media, “If you have any questions, contact me directly so I can answer them.”

Becker had questions and called Burke for an interview, but after numerous invitations and agreeing to let her film, she declined because I would not provide my questions in advance, only the topics, which is a practice. current.

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Becker went to the address given by Burke for answers, but there was no response.

“At a bare minimum, it’s an optical issue,” said Michael Binder, a political science professor at the University of North Florida. “Sometimes people can do things that may not be illegal, but questionable or against the wishes of the community, and in those circumstances people often don’t win elections.”

The City of Neptune Beach said since January 2021 there have been 23 complaints about short-term rentals with six investigations opened, but none of them are against Burke.

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In October, the City entered into a contract with Deckard Technologies to help solve the problem.

Hould said he wanted a better neighbor.

“It’s personal use, commercial gain, and denying it’s happening is just not appropriate,” Hould said.

Burke said she currently has no short-term rentals in Neptune Beach. Becker learned the slate was taken down in July around the time Burke filed his candidacy.

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