Beaufort City Council to discuss short-term rental ordinance

Beaufort City Council to discuss short-term rental ordinance

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - In Beaufort, residents and officials are having a conversation concerning the fate of short-term rentals.

Areas like Pigeon Point have a high concentration of short-term rentals. In fact, there are 19 in this area alone, mainly because of the proximity to the downtown area.

However, after much discussion over the past year, the city council is finally ready to decide on the future of short-term rentals in Beaufort.

In total, there are about 50 short-term rental properties in the city but the current ordinance only allows them in commercial zones. Over the years, 30-day rentals started popping up in residential areas prompting the city to create a task force.

The committee has been working to develop a set of recommendations to regulate the properties. So far we're looking at a cap on how many short-term rentals can be in a neighborhood and the requirement of an in-town contact for homes managed by out of town owners.

The debate with short-term rentals isn't over who is currently renting but who could rent in the future.

"Most of the concerns are really about the unknown because we have not yet to my knowledge had a report of excessive partying, parking in the streets and blocking traffic, too many people living in the homes," said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.

The mayor tells me right now the city attorney is reviewing the proposed ordinance to put in legislative form. At that point, we will see it on an agenda for council to make an official decision over the next few weeks.

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