Folly Beach residents prepare for upcoming vote on short term rentals

The City and County Board of Elections are working to set up a special election about...
The City and County Board of Elections are working to set up a special election about short-term rental properties on Folly Beach.(Live 5)
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:19 PM EST
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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - People who live full-time and are registered to vote on Folly Beach can expect a special election about short-term rental regulations as early as February of next year.  

This comes after a grassroots citizen petition brought the ordinance to the council.

Now the council is sending the decision to the people. The City and County Board of Elections are working to set up a special election about short-term rental properties on Folly Beach.

Everyone who is a permanent resident of the island will get to be a part of the decision at the ballot box. They can vote for or against a cap of 800 investment short-term rental properties on the island at a time. According to 2020 census data, 800 properties represent about a third of Folly Beach.

You can read the petition here:

Ann Peets has lived on Folly for nearly a decade and is an active member of the Folly Beach Resident Association.

“If you are a voting resident of Folly Beach, I would urge you to get involved and to basically figure out the facts,” Peets says. “We will continue to post the facts on our Facebook at FBRA, but anywhere you need to talk to the city to talk to attorneys to talk around town and get informed on the issues before you get out and vote. And definitely get out and vote.”

The special election cannot take place in the next 30 days since the election board needs time to organize the ballot and inform voters. It has to happen within one year from now.

City officials say they are working to organize the vote in early 2023, ahead of the beach’s busy summer season.