Folly Beach votes against capping short-term rentals

BEACH OF MADNESS, SC (WCSC) – Leaders of a Lowcountry beach town voted against capping the number of short-term rentals allowed before a packed house of landlords on Tuesday night.

The city expected such a crowd for Tuesday’s meeting that it put up signs all over City Hall warning of the capacity of City Council chambers.

But after more than a dozen neighbors spoke, council members voted 5-2 to refuse a proposed cap of 800 properties taxed as non-primary residences. Properties taxed as principal residences would not have been subject to the cap had the ordinance been passed.

“The only thing this order doesn’t have, Aaron, is a camera in my bedroom,” said Folly Beach resident Sam Meader. “There are a lot of things I don’t like, but again the government has overstepped its bounds.”

A separate ordinance would have required that short-term rentals in single-family homes must not be rented for less than a week.

The city council later changed this order to say that all short-term rentals on the island must be rented for at least two consecutive nights.

However, some landlords say they are in favor of the cap, saying the proposed cap of 800 equates to a third of available properties on the island.

“This will set a boundary for investment STRs and for the first time establish a clear and fixed relationship between resident housing and investment STRs, and I consider that very important,” said John McFarland, a resident of Foly Beach.

Some neighbors say they wouldn’t object to adding a question to the November ballot about capping short-term rentals.

However, the fate of this and this ordinance remains uncertain.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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