Some news and notes from Nick Sortal

Vacation rentals: The Plantation City Council and Mayor Lynn Stoner held a one-hour workshop before our Dec. 19 council meeting to discuss vacation rental legislation. Estimates are that about 140 homeowners in Plantation work with Airbnb and a similar number work with other vacation rental companies.

 We talked about requiring such short-term renters to have some accountability. It’s clear they should register with the city, pay a fee (not sure how much) and have someone the city can reach in case something goes wrong. The more complicated issues are whether to create a tiered registration that differentiates between homeowners who are on-property and simply want to make supplemental cash renting a room (Airbnb calls those venues “owner-occupied”) vs. operators who live remotely and offer their entire house. The latter is, naturally, more subject to complaints, such as excessive parties. We have a ways to go on figuring out what is fair, are comparing our ideas with what other municipalities do and will revisit the issue.

Because we have three new council members (including me), there is some catching up to do. So workshops have also been scheduled for: 6 p.m. Jan. 9 to discuss the rewrite for our city’s zoning codes; 5 p.m. Jan. 16 to discuss our city’s priorities as the state legislature prepares to meet; and 6 p.m. Jan. 23 (more zoning rewrite). Please note that these are public meetings; you are certainly allowed and encouraged to attend. There also is a meeting next week to discuss negotiations regarding our contract with the Fraternal Order of Police. That meeting is closed to the public, which is allowable under state law.

Our next council meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9. The agenda comes out Friday. Check

A Friday night free concert features Turnstiles (a Billy Joel cover band) at Pine Island Park, south of Broward Blvd. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket. Food trucks open at 6 and the concert starts at 7. Note that Pine Island Park, long-term, will be a concert venue, with plans for a band shell, etc., on the way.

Jan. 9 begins a series of weekly lectures at the Hoffman Plantation Library under the title “The American West: History, Myth, and Legacy.” The 2 p.m. Wednesday series runs through June at the library, 501 N. Fig Tree Lane.

A note about this newsletter:  I plan to inform residents about what’s going on in our city, posting on my site,, about every two weeks and then sharing via Facebook and other platforms. I turned off the comments part from my web page. If you have thoughts, put them below the Facebook post or email me at Thanks.