Flagler County government’s attempt to protect its vacation-rental regulations took another turn for the worse as a Senate committee today voted to advance a bill that would wipe out those regulations.
The defense rested without calling a single witness in Anna Pehota’s murder trial today, and what dementia issues may have played a role in her husband’s killing could not be introduced before the jury. Closing arguments are Friday morning.
Anna Pehota, 76, facing a second-degree murder charge for shooting her husband in the Hammock last September, is benefiting from inherent sympathy going into her trial, which began with jury selection Monday and starts in earnest Wednesday.
The trial of Anna Pehota, 76, who faces a second-degree murder charge for shooting her husband dead in October, goes on trial on July 18, a date Judge Matthew Foxman said is immovable.
Captain’s Bait, Tackle and BBQ at Bing’s Landing, the county park, scaled some opposition by Hammock residents to win county approval for an 800 square foot expansion that will not, however, add to the restaurant’s 200-seat capacity.
The county commission’s authority is limited but it plans to stiffen fines against vacation-rental rule violators. Lawmakers meanwhile, catching on to the controversy, may revert more regulatory authority to local governments.
Steven Milo, head of Vacation Rental Pros, sued the Flagler County Commission, an eight-count action that alleges property, privacy and equal protection rights violations.
Today’s vote is only advisory ahead of action before the county’s planning board and the County Commission. But A1A’s membership represents a powerful constituency in the Hammock, as its previous displays of political muscle indicate.
The Flagler County Commission has been leading the fight to overturn a 2011 state law prohibiting the regulation of short-term rentals. Thursday morning, the Florida Senate voted 37-2 to give back some home-rule authority to local governments. The House approved the measure 90-27 on Wednesday, sealing a major victory for Flagler County.
The I AM ART/Rachel & Friends studio and gallery, which premiers with “The Heart of Expression” on Feb. 14, opens in the Hammock on Valentine’s Day. Flagler Beach’s Ocean Books and Art features sculptor Timothy Murphy and photographer Joe Campanellie.