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Tybee City Council to discuss vacation rental moratorium

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 2:50 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Tybee Island meets Thursday and the agenda includes a discussion on a possible short-term vacation rental moratorium.

The moratorium would stop any future property owners from registering their homes as a vacation rental.

Just last week, Tybee Island leaders added the STVR moratorium resolution to their agenda. A broker with the Jenny Rutherford Real Estate team says not only did residents have short notice about it, but a moratorium is not something the town even needs.

“We’ve got over 34 properties on Tybee under contract that are in the middle of going to closing that are at jeopardy. A lot of these buyers are planning to use their property as a vacation rental,” Rutherford said

However, others disagree. Resident Mack Kitchens says there’s too many STVR’s already and the island isn’t designed to accommodate the amount of people they bring in.

“If you put two people in each one of those bedrooms, we are doubling our residency here. Over doubling,” Kitchens said.

The moratorium would prevent people from registering their property as an STVR for at least six months. The idea is that it’ll give the city time to resolve issues some residents feel STVR’s cause, like an excess of garbage.

“We have people renting properties that don’t live in the state, not taking care of them,” Kitchens said.

“There are rules in place already to deal with noise, trash and parking. The city needs to enforce what they have on the books now instead of stopping vacation rentals indefinitely,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford says this moratorium wouldn’t affect those that are currently registered.

“You’re telling some property owners that they can have a vacation rental, and some can’t,” she said.

One thing Rutherford and Kitchens agree on is residents should show up to the city council meeting Thursday to make sure everyone’s thoughts are heard. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

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