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Have you noticed the “Save Isle of Palms” signs? What are these and what do they mean?

Recently a group of residents came together and formed the Save Isle of Palms committee. They want to limit short term rentals on the island. More specifically, they want to have a minimum short term rental rate of at least one week and a cap on short-term rentals at their current level.

Currently there are 4,600 residencies on the Island and there are 1,634 rental licenses.

And, out of these 1,634 rentals, several of them advertise that their properties can accommodate 20 or more guests. In one attorney’s opinion (Skip Martin), this is a violation of single-family zoning rules and regulations. Skip recently forwarded a letter to Town Hall and City Council threatening legal action due to the zoning violation.

On the other side of it, there are people who are against dictating short term stays that must be seven days or longer. According to the Post and Courier article (February 26, 2007 by Prentiss Findlay), “Budiroes music bar owner Ronnie Johnson said a seven-day minimum stay for short-term rentals would have a disastrous effect on the island economy. ‘It could possibly put us out of business,’ he said. The Isle of Palms Commerce Association said a one-week minimum rental could reduce the island’s annual budget by 30 percent.

Ron Davis of Ron Davis Realtors said 80 percent of island rentals in the off-season are for less than a week. Enforcement of the town’s existing ordinances can address the quality-of-life issues raised by island residents, he said.”

The Town Council is expected to address the issue today, Tuesday, when it votes on a short term rental ordinance. More to come…

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