Town of Seabrook Island Report on Short-Term Rentals

On Tues. May 10, 2022, the town’s Ad Hoc Committee on Short-Term Rentals, made up of council members Jeri Finke and Pat Fox, released a report of its findings and recommendations regarding short-term rental activity on Seabrook Island. 

In response to a resident petition calling for caps on the number of short-term rental permits issued by the town, Mayor John Gregg re-established the ad hoc committee in the fall of 2021. The committee, which developed the town’s existing short-term rental ordinance in 2020, was re-established for the purpose of assembling and evaluating additional data on the trends and developments in rental activity within the Town.

To meet the Mayor’s charge, the Committee held a series of meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including the organizers of the petition, residents in favor of the petition, residents opposed to the petition, rental property owners and managers, legal advisors, industry and trade group professionals, real estate professionals, representatives of SIPOA and the Seabrook Island Club, and members of town staff. 

The committee’s final report was presented to Town Council during a Council Workshop on May 10th. Following an extensive analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, the committee recommended that Town Council undertake the following:

  1. Impose a 20% cap on short-term rental permits available to single-family residential zoned districts (R-SF1, R-SF2, R-SF3). This cap would be equivalent to that imposed by the Town of Kiawah Island.
  2. Require non-resident property owners to use a local rental management company if they do not live within 50 miles of their property.
  3. Limit the number of vehicles which may be parked at a short-term rental unit during the overnight hours (11:00 pm to 7:00 am).
  4. Implement a maximum occupancy requirement for periods other than overnight hours. (Overnight occupancy is currently limited pursuant to Ord. 2020-14.)
  5. Require that renters must comply with evacuation orders during emergency situations.
  6. Continue to engage with SIPOA to establish a more coordinated system of responding to any complaint if and when a problem does surface at a rental property.
  7. Establish a complaint portal on the town’s website to report violations of the short-term rental ordinance.
  8. Increase the annual short-term rental permit application fee.
  9. Hire a short-term rental compliance manager. 

To view a copy of the report, or to view the committee’s presentation to Town Council, please click the links below.