Town Council Adopts Emergency Ordinance 2020-01
Seabrook Island Town Council held an Emergency Meeting on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 2:00 pm. During the meeting, members of Town Council voted unanimously to adopt Emergency Ordinance 2020-01, with amendments. As adopted, Emergency Ordinance 2020-01 contained the following provisions:
- The Mayor’s Executive Order Nos. 2020-01 and 2020-02 were adopted by reference;
- Certain types of “non-essential” business activities were restricted, consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-17, which was issued on March 31st;
- New “check-ins” at short-term rental units were prohibited beginning at 12:01 am on Sunday, April 5th, and ending at 11:59 pm on Thursday, April 30th;
- Existing rentals were prohibited from being extended or renewed beyond their current expiration date, unless the stay commenced on or before March 15th and the rental guest has continuously occupied the same rental unit since that date;
- Owners and managers of short-term rental units in the town were prohibited from accepting new reservations for stays commencing between April 2nd and April 30th, and from advertising a unit as being available for rent during the same time period;
- The Town Administrator was authorized to grant a “reasonable accommodation” from the temporary short-term rental restrictions for caregivers providing care to residents with an illness or disability, and for property owners who are unable to use their property within the town due to construction, renovation or repair on their property;
- The restrictions on short-term rentals do not apply to members of the property owner’s immediate family. (Immediate family includes: parents; siblings; children by blood, adoption, or marriage; spouses; grandparents and grandchildren);
- All scheduled meetings of the Town Council and various boards, commissions and committees of the town were officially cancelled through April 30th;
- Town Council amended its rules to allow members to participate in and vote in meetings by electronic means without the requirement that a quorum of Council be physically present;
- All temporary use permits for events and activities taking place between April 1st and May 31st were repealed and the Zoning Administrator was prohibited from issuing new temporary use permits for events and activities scheduled to take place during the same time period;
- Penalties of up to $500.00 (plus court fees) were authorized for each violation; and
- Suspension and revocation of business licenses was authorized for owners and managers of rental properties who are found guilty of violating the restrictions on short-term rental units.
The provisions of Emergency Ordinance 2020-01 were effective immediately and will expire automatically on May 31, 2020.
Seabrook Island Town Hall Closed
As a reminder, Town Hall remains closed and members of town staff are working remotely to provide “virtual services” to residents and business owners. For assistance during normal operating hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm), please contact us by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The town’s Code Enforcement Officers and Beach Patrol will remain active on the island as long as it is safe for them to do so. All public meetings have been cancelled through April 30th, with the exception of emergency meetings.
Seabrook Island Road Bike Pathway Re-Opened
Town Hall may be closed, but we are happy to report that the bike path along Seabrook Island Road was re-opened to traffic earlier today. The crosswalk located across the street from the entrance to Bohicket Marina remains closed pending concrete repairs; however, pedestrians and cyclists may once again use the entire length of the pathway between Town Hall and Freshfields… provided you maintain proper social distancing, of course.
Protect Yourself and Others
To minimize the risk of exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that individuals take the following precautions:
- Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, avoid of touching your face and mouth, and avoid shaking hands with others.
- Social Distancing: Maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and others.
- Travel: Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas of high concentrations of cases of infection.
- Limit Contact with the Sick and Elderly: Cease visits to nursing homes and other extended care facilities, except in the case of end-of-life circumstances.
For general questions about COVID-19, please contact the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Care Line at (855) 472-3432. Staff will be available to answer calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, residents are strongly encouraged to visit official resources, including the SCDHEC and CDC websites.
Official updates from the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to be posted on the following channels:
- Town WEBSITE: www.townofseabrookisland.org
- Town TWITTER feed: www.twitter.com/seabrookislnd87
- Town FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/townofseabrookisland
Property Owners with rental guests should forward this notice to their rental guests.
-Submitted by Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator, Town of Seabrook Island.