Short-term rental ordinance meeting held on Tybee Island - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Short-term rental ordinance meeting held on Tybee Island

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -

Officials on Tybee Island asked for the public's input about an ordinance proposed to tighten regulation on short-term vacation rentals.

The city held a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday to hear suggestions.

"I wanted all the stakeholders involved in a discussion like we had today. I thought that the rental companies, the residents, all the people that are concerned about it or not concerned need to be involved in it if we are going to proceed with this,” said Wanda Doyle, Tybee Island mayor pro-tem. 

According to a draft, the city is experiencing problems with parking, noise, and over-occupancy of properties used for short-term rentals.

This new addition to city code would set a maximum occupancy at two people per "sleeping area," plus two additional people, as well as one parking space allowed per sleeping area, meaning a 3 bedroom rental would have to provide at least three off-street parking spots.

"I don't think this ordinance, or any other ordinance of like kind, is truly enforceable,” said Keith Gay, Tybee Beach Vacation Rentals.

And one property manager fears it could threaten the island's welcoming reputation.

"So to add more regulations on top of the ones we already have, I just feel like it would be oppressive to the community,” said Melba Judd, Tybee Time Vacation Rentals.

Although it's easy to complain about the nuisance vacation renters can sometimes bring, others on the island embrace them.

Bill Robinson, who lives here year-round, owns a house surrounded by three rental properties, but he said Tybee wouldn't be where it is now without its visitors.

"I don't chase people out of my yard, I don't do it, that's me. And if people do do that, they don't understand what the lifeblood of this island is. They don't understand how important vacation rentals and day trippers are,” said Robinson.

Of course, locals will inevitably run into issues with renters, but city officials said if you have a problem, let police or the city manager know.

"So we can resolve it, instead of going out there and continuously complaining about it. If we don't know about it, we can't even attempt to try and resolve the issue,” said Mayor Pro-tem Doyle.

The proposed ordinance is now headed to the planning commission at its October meeting, where commissioners will take into consideration comments that were made at Tuesday’s meeting. 

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