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Tybee seeking community feedback on short-term vacation rentals

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been about two weeks since the City of Tybee Island put a 90 day halt on signing up new short-term vacation rentals.

So far, the city has held two town hall meetings. One was in-person and one virtual. Tybee Mayor Shirley Sessions says these have been extremely helpful and they’ve been able to gather a lot of recommendations from the community.

Mayor Sessions says a lot of residents and folks in the STVR industry have participated in the meetings. The city is hearing many of the same issues they’ve heard in the past, like the noise, trash and infrastructure issues often associated with the number of STVRs on the island. But finding common ground is a challenge.

Sessions says some residents say they want to see things like occupancy restrictions and a cap on neighborhood rentals while those in the industry say “no” to these suggestions.

Part of the moratorium includes a survey. So far, Sessions says they’ve had more than 1,000 responses. However, the city is getting complaints about how the survey is written. Sessions says it incorporates all the major components and includes everyone.

“I think the whole process has been very, very helpful from all angles. It’s been helpful to the residents who’ve been able to participate, to part-time homeowners who have been able to participate not matter where they are to the industry who manages short-term vacation rentals,” Mayor Sessions said.

Sessions reminds people to take advantage of the “other comments” section of the survey if the survey questions don’t touch on their specific concerns. The moratorium will end on Nov. 26.

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