By Theresa Stratford for The Island Connection
Although many full-time residents on Seabrook Island, and part-time residents elsewhere, would like to see a solution to the short-term rental situation, it appears that a recommendation from the newly formed ad hoc committee on short term rentals be even maybe a few months or more.
Council members Jeri Finke and Pat Fox were appointed to lead the committee in October, after a petition from a group of residents of the Preserve Seabrook Effort was presented to the council.
Preserve Seabrook would like to see more restrictions on short-term rentals. Finke provided an update on the committee’s progress at the Seabrook Island City Council meeting on Jan. 25. Finke explained. “We wanted to do a lot of one-on-one meetings with different stakeholders.” Fox and Finke came up with an initial list of 12 meetings. She reported that by the time of the city council meeting, they had completed about half of their scheduled meetings. “During the holidays, it was difficult to schedule a meeting every week, but that’s been the goal. We like to schedule them on Friday mornings,” Finke added. Seabrook Island zoning administrator Tyler Newman and l City Administrator Joe Cronin also attends the meetings. Finke said she knows residents are eager to see a report, but at this time she and Fox are not ready to draw conclusions on a policy change.” We really need to finish our meetings and review our notes before we can write any type of report that may or may not contain recommendations,” Finke added. Fox and Finke agreed that they hoped to have a report by March Fox reiterated, “We’re really listening right now. Sometimes we meet people for two and a half hours. She said two of the big meetings they’ve had were with the city administrator of Kiawah Island and the resume representatives of the Council of Villa Associations and Schemes on Seabrook Island – among others. “Every time we end a meeting, we add something to our list of important information that we need to consider. It’s always something that will help us find a solution by leading us to come up with a recommendation.” Fox and Finke added that it was important to have Cronin and Newman in the meetings as it helps address any questions or concerns regarding the current application on the island.
“We really appreciate their help,” Finke said. “It’s a big and important job, and we all take it very seriously.”