Tybee Island residents weigh in on disorderly household ordinance

Published: May. 9, 2019 at 11:20 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Tybee Island is trying to crack down on loud and rambunctious vacationers staying on the island.

City Council passed the disorderly household ordinance Thursday night, where the owners of properties will be cited for disturbances. After three strikes, they could lose their license if they are staying at a short-term vacation rental.

When we heard from the community on the topic, we heard two different sides: the locals and the owners of short-term vacation rentals. Residents alike say enforcing noise violations on the island is a huge problem.

“The truth is, we have a noise ordinance, but there hasn’t been a penalty for it,” one resident said. “I thought the purpose of this was to establish the penalty, but to penalize the people performing the disobedience.”

The new ordinance would set stricter guidelines on how exactly to hold people accountable. City Council has decided to put the responsibility on the homeowners, which mainly included owners of short-term rentals.

“I think that this ordinance is to catch the outliers, the bad behavior people,” said Monty Parks, Tybee Island City Council.

“Between what protects the citizens that live here year-round, and the tourists that come and the businesses, and I think we accomplished that with this,” said Julie Livingston, Tybee Island City Council.

After three violations in one year, the owner would be required to have a meeting with a city official to talk through the violations. Though the council says that’s not their intention, it could result in the owner losing their license.

“Then, you have the potential of putting me and my colleagues out of business.”

In order for it to ever get all the way to the extensive point, police officers would have to issue three full citations - not warnings - which the city manager says police almost always give guests grace for the first complaint.

“I also want to urge my fellow residents to report noise and other code violations to be non-emergency Tybee Island Police Department phone number,” said Karen Gilbert. “I believe this will work to ensure the effective implementation of the disorderly household ordinance.”

Another talker from the council meeting didn’t actually happen. The Concerned Citizens of Tybee group was supposed to speak in support of Orange Crush, but no one showed up to the meeting.

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