Folly Beach ordinance may limit multifamily developments downtown

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:50 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:02 AM EDT
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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Folly Beach planning commission is set to meet Monday to discuss an ordinance to limit multifamily developments in the city’s downtown area.

Multifamily developments can, by definition, mean anything from duplexes to apartment buildings.

City leaders say some multifamily structures are often too large for the city’s small downtown lots and they want to keep their small hometown feel.

This ordinance first popped up in conversation last November and there are still a handful of meetings ahead before a decision is made.

If this ordinance were to go into effect, it would have no impact on current buildings. It would, however, limit future development and redevelopment.

Folly Beach Zoning Administrator Jenna Stephens says there is only one building that’s over three stories and it was built prior to the city’s current zoning ordinances.

“The goal is to maintain the livability of Downtown Folly Beach. We are a small island with small lots, and we’d like to hold onto the livability of Folly and prevent huge developments and parking nightmares,” Stephens says.

By Monday night, the planning commission should decide on whether they recommend the ordinance should go to council. If so, there will be two council meetings. If eventually approved, the ordinance would then go into effect immediately.

Monday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Folly Beach City Council Chambers.

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