Moratorium vote on Savannah's short-term rentals canceled - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Moratorium vote on Savannah's short-term rentals canceled

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(Source: City of Savannah) (Source: City of Savannah)

City Council passed on another chance to slow down the growing industry of short term property rentals. Council members decided not to vote on that 90-day moratorium they've been discussing for several weeks.

The decision allows people to still submit applications for short term rentals. Stakeholders against the expansion of short term rentals expect a new ordinance to pass in the next council meeting.

Applications are likely to continue flooding in to turn homes into short term rentals. The council's latest decision gives people at least two more weeks.

"I've sold many properties downtown to different buyers that intend to use short term rental as a way to afford their property,” said realtor Jenny Rutherford.

"To have the moratorium happen now and to have a decision to be made about short term vacation rentals in just two weeks time, doesn't make much sense,” said Thomas Square resident Clinton Edminster.

The new ordinance is expected to put a cap on how many rentals are allowed within each ward. Depending on what that percentage is, some neighborhoods will already be above the cap.

"I'm concerned that if the city council passes a cap within the historic district in regards to how many short term rentals are allowed, that we're going to be restricting private property rights,” said Rutherford.

The city clearly sees it differently. Supporters of the cap said the influx of short term rentals takes away from the neighborhood. You can see the density in the map in the Historic and Victorian Districts. Heading a little bit south, folks in Thomas Square are eager to welcome this new industry.

"That's really what we're looking for is to absolutely have more short term vacation rentals in the neighborhood to an extent and not to the density that has happened downtown,” said Edminster.

It's that density that neighborhood leaders said threatens the city's unique downtown environment.

The density issue is the main thing neighborhoods and short term rental owners could not agree on. They're expecting council to meet them in the middle in the vote on July 6th. We'll of course keep you updated on that ordinance and vote.

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