FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Short term rentals on Folly Beach are a hot button issue going into the November election.
Investment short term rental licenses are now capped at 800 on Folly after community members voted on a referendum in February.
A group of residents who started a petition said the short term rentals diminished their quality of life. Chuck Skipper has called Folly Beach home for years now. He said he has seen a positive impact from the cap.
“You’ll see where all of these three-story buildings, with you know broken down into little components where people can rent one floor at a time for short term. They’ve kind of swallowed up the post office over there and that’s what’s happening all over the island,” Skipper said. “But it seems like things have kind of calmed down now.”
The topic remains top of mind for many people ahead of the election.
“You know, for investors it’s a really exceptional way to generate revenue, but then there’s also the concern about protecting the community. And so, I think it’s a delicate balance,” said Jamie Minster, a loan officer at CMG.
According to Folly Beach City officials, there are still a little more than 960 investment short term rentals on the island because the licenses were allocated before the vote.
“We were the first ones who did this here at Folly Beach. And I understand now there’s like 16 cities and towns in South Carolina that all have either voted for a short term rental cap or are in the process of voting for one. So, it’s a nerve that’s been touched. Not just in the United States, but overseas,” Skipper said. “The residents are saying ‘hey, enough’s enough, some is ok but not 100%.’” News 2 is hosting a Folly Beach City Council candidate forum on Tuesday at 7pm at Tides Folly Beach. Short term rentals is a top issue mentioned in many of the questions we’ve received.