Short-term vacation rental moratorium continues on Tybee Island

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Next month will mark one year since Tybee Island put a moratorium on short-term vacation rentals that was supposed to only last 90 days. It has been extended several times since.

This has prevented people from registering new properties as an STVR while the city writes a new STVR ordinance.

The city continues to say the moratorium will remain in place until a new ordinance is written. With the latest deadline for that to be done approaching next month, City Manager Shawn Gillen says they still may not act.

The process is what Gillen calls “ugly” but the “right one” because it’s such an important decision. He says for months the planning commission has been reviewing elements of the ordinance that could change.

Gillen says one of the biggest changes would exclude STVRs from three residential zones on the island. One of the reasons the city is looking at making these adjustments is because of the complaints they say they get, which include illegal parking and noise.

So far, the planning commission has taken a vote on parking restrictions for STVRs. Gillen says they proposed setting a certain number of parking spaces off the street, per bedroom, in the residential zones. Commission voted against it, but it doesn’t necessarily make it the final decision because the council can also take it up for a vote.

While it doesn’t seem as though the STVR saga has moved a whole lot, Gillen says they are getting closer to what could be the final draft of the ordinance.

“They have gotten this far in some ordinance changes, but those ordinance changes need to come to a vote at some point as you say and I can’t predict which way it’ll go,” Gillen said.

Gillen says the planning commission has, again, asked for a workshop so they can rehash it. He says this is better than rushing it. They will then bring their changes to council for a vote in August and at that point a vote could be made but it’s not guaranteed. The moratorium deadline is Aug. 31.

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