Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


IOP’s new short term rental rules could regulate number of visitors allowed

BySummer Huechtker|March 11, 2020 at 6:15 AM EDT - Updated March 11 at 7:17 AM

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - If you're planning a vacation or a trip to see friends out on the Isle of Palms this summer, possible changes to short-term rental rules could affect those plans.

The Isle of Palms City Council will be discussing the number of people and cars allowed at rentals this tourism season.

The term "short-term rental" means any unit being leased or rented for less than three months on Isle of Palms.

The ordinance for the maximum number of daytime occupancy at any short-term rental is currently 40 people.

The city's planning commission will propose changing this daytime maximum to double the number of overnight occupancy. The maximum number of people allowed overnight in short-term rentals ranges from six to 12. This means no rental property could ever have more than 24 people there at a time during the day.

This is all part of an attempt to reduce the number of people at smaller rental units as well as reduce the number of cars taking up space on the roadways.

This has caused issues because beach visitors will park on rental property during the day and move cars into the roadway later at night.

Though there are rules about overnight parking, the city says there is currently no car limit for day time visitors at rentals. They will be working to come up with ideas to change this at at Wednesday's planning commission meeting.

City leaders say they are having this discussion now because they are concerned about the congestion on the roadways during the upcoming beach season.

The planning commission is also proposing a new rule that would allow a rental license to be taken away from an owner after five nuisance "founded complaints" in a calendar year. Right now there is no defined code for when or how a business license can be revoked.

City leaders say rental property owners are ultimately responsible for their own property. The city wants to discuss a change to enforce the idea that if an owner does not enact practices that minimize nuisances to their neighbors, they could face losing their ability to rent all together.

The city is also discussing a code that would require an owner of a rental or owner's representative to be physically present at their rental within an hour of a complaint call. The city says an owner's representative could be an appointed manager or neighbor, or the owner themselves.

The city says this would improve the response time to complaints and prevent the police department from having to handle non-emergency situations. However, the city says some owners have expressed that this decreases their flexibility, especially during the tourism months.

Wednesday’s meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. in the Isle of Palms City Hall Conference Room.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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