ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms city leaders are looking to make changes to the island’s short-term rental application process, and also hire new staff to help regulate short-term rentals.

The changes would be to ensure everyone who applies for a short-term rental license has their property up to proper safety standards.

“There’s some fire safety items that we would like them to attest to,” Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds said. “Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide, make sure their house numbers so our public safety folks can find their house quickly.”

Those four requirements, along with other safety items officials plan to recommend, would go into effect in May.

“We’re right in the middle of our renewal season for licenses,” Pounds said, “so this will all apply next year, if you will. Starting May 1st, going forward.”

Several council members voiced their concerns about how these new requirements would be enforced.

“When we say that we cannot,” Councilwoman Katie Miars said, “and we are not going to check on this in any way. Why would anybody take it seriously?”

The council also talked about the proposed $200 increase for the rental application, which is currently $350.

“This fee increase was in someway to prevent or to limit people from getting licenses,” Councilman John Bogosian said. “I’ve never been a part of any conversation where that was the intent of this.”

“My taxes on my house,” Councilman Jimmy Ward said, “the Isle of Palms portion, would go from $288, and I’d have to add another $550 to that. So, it’s over $800 which is three times what I’m paying.”

After discussion, council voted on the first reading of the ordinance for the $200 increase. It was approved 6 to 3.

Then, council took a vote to approve the new short-term rental coordinator position, and the vote was approved unanimously.