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Latest News in Folly Beach, SC

New ordinances could affect number of short-term rentals on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — The debate on short-term rentals is once again heating up on Folly Beach. Residents say proposed amendments approved earlier this year could add dozens more rentals to the area.Folly Beach residents voted to cap short-term rentals to 800 in February. It was nearly a year-and-a-half-long debate th...

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — The debate on short-term rentals is once again heating up on Folly Beach. Residents say proposed amendments approved earlier this year could add dozens more rentals to the area.

Folly Beach residents voted to cap short-term rentals to 800 in February. It was nearly a year-and-a-half-long debate that seemingly came to a close.

But now, residents are worried new amendments to the ordinance proposed by city councilmembers could increase the number of short-term rentals beyond the cap approved earlier this year.

READ MORE: South Carolina Attorney General to host bond reform discussion in Charleston

The first amendment would allow short-term rental owners who were not renewed by the deadline this year, but paid taxes on the property previously, to have a chance to apply for license renewal.

The second amendment says if an investor got a short-term rental license approved for a construction project before the ordinance was passed on February 7th and hasn't received their certificate of occupancy, they could get approval for a license after the deadline as well.

Right now, there are dozens of rentals on the waitlist. Folly Beach residents say this would only create more of a backlog and could open the door for many more short-term rentals on the island.

“It just means if you pay your taxes, you could then get a license. It could be hundreds more, and basically take us to the same position we were before the cap, where there was no limit on short-term rentals," said Ann Peets, president of the Folly Beach Residents Association. "It takes it back to them being really a dominant force on the island over the residents."

WCIV

Councilmembers DJ Rich, Billy Grooms and Adam Barker proposed these amendments. News 4 reached out to each one of them for comment but did not receive a response.

Peets and other residents plan to propose some alternatives at the city council meeting on Tuesday, which they believe could help clear the backlog.

Peets says since there are already tons of homes on the waitlist, promoting alternatives like 72-day rentals or long-term rentals on the island could cut down on the number of investors aiming to get STR licenses.

TRENDING: Music Man's BBQ owner Gene Cribb passes away

But more importantly, she says the city could avoid these headaches by just having more transparency of its enforcement. Peets claims it would shorten the waitlist and also improve compliance throughout the island.

“We want to see them move to the next phase where that enforcement really is starting to happen, where they are going in and basically issuing violations when they happen, not just nice warnings that don't result in anything and that really rewards the people that do a nice job in terms of property management," Peets said. "They can have a great investment rental that is a good community player and really moves it, moves them up in the list and makes them thought of most positively on the island."

Folly Beach mayor Tim Goodwin says to stay in good standing and adhere to the enforcement of the ordinance, owners must keep business and rental licenses up to date, know who they rent to, and avoid violating the city’s strike system.

The amendments will have their first reading at the Folly Beach city council meeting Tuesday night at 7 o'clock.

The debate over short-term rentals is taking shape across the country. Locally, Sullivan’s island and James Island have both discussed short-term rental bans at recent council meetings.

Nationally, Dallas became the first city to ban short-term rentals last week.

Coastal damage assessment after heavy storms: Folly Beach experience mixed impact

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — After heavy rain, wind, and waves along the shores on Sunday, beaches are still recovering.One Folly Beach staff member said, on average, about 20 feet of sand dunes were pushed back to land. Thursday, the Coastal Science and Engineering team visited FollyBeach for a scheduled data collection trip.“If you go down to the Isle of Palms or to Folly Beach portions of those communities that, before the storm, had a high dune or had a lot of sand in front of the houses, actually faired rel...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — After heavy rain, wind, and waves along the shores on Sunday, beaches are still recovering.

One Folly Beach staff member said, on average, about 20 feet of sand dunes were pushed back to land. Thursday, the Coastal Science and Engineering team visited FollyBeach for a scheduled data collection trip.

“If you go down to the Isle of Palms or to Folly Beach portions of those communities that, before the storm, had a high dune or had a lot of sand in front of the houses, actually faired relatively well," Patrick Barrineau said.

Barrineau is the vice president of Coastal Science and Engineering, a group that collects data and studies coastal zones. They are headquartered in Columbia.

Coastal damage assessment after heavy storms: Folly Beach experience mixed impact (WCIV)

Read more: "USS Yorktown shifts due to Nor'easter storm, Patriots Point Museum temporarily closes."

"Portions of the beach that had a relatively narrow beach or had relatively low dunes did not [fair well],” Barrineau added. “We ended up seeing some damage. So it's a mixed bag. It depends on the recent project history.”

Barrineau said the Coastal Science team has been collecting data for the state for about a decade.

“We're ultimately looking at the elevation of the beach surface, how it changes over time," he said. "We're measuring it from where it doesn't change. So, landward of the dune out to 20, 30, 40 feet deep waterway offshore. And using those elevation data, we can sort of group certain profiles together that are adjacent to one another and keep track of the volume of the beach over time."

The goal is to provide helpful information to protect land and property during storms like the Nor'easter.

Read more: "Edisto Beach feels impact of Sunday Nor'easter."

"And there are pretty strong relationships between the amount of storm damage you see after an event like what we saw on Sunday and the volume of a beach," Barrineau said. "So, if you can maintain a certain threshold, minimum ideal volume, then you can sort of guarantee your community that storms up to a certain intensity will not cause substantial damage."

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The United States Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District said they plan to award a construction contract to an upcoming renourishment project, aimed to be completed before the 2023 hurricane season.

11 Top-Rated Small Towns In South Carolina

South Carolina, nicknamed the Palmetto State, is known for its warm temperatures, pristine sand beaches, nature parks, festivals, and golf park. Shaped like an inverted triangle, North Carolina bounds it to the North, the Atlantic Ocean...

South Carolina, nicknamed the Palmetto State, is known for its warm temperatures, pristine sand beaches, nature parks, festivals, and golf park. Shaped like an inverted triangle, North Carolina bounds it to the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the Southeast, and Georgia to the Southwest. South Carolina has a unique geography, providing diverse tourist activities, from taking long treks in the state's nature reserves to dining at world-class restaurants with meals that will keep you coming for more.

Along the coastal and mountainous areas of South Carolina are small towns known for outstanding tourist attractions and out-of-this-world meals. Get set to add these top-rated small towns in South Carolina to your travel wishlist.

More in South CarolinaDiscover 8 of the Friendliest Towns in South Carolina

Edisto Island

Edisto is one of the sea islands of South Carolina. This small town is 42 miles from the historic Charleston town, a perfect place to relax and unwind after exploring the historic town. This town offers more than just surfing and kayaking along the Edisto River. There are so many other tourist hotspots in Edisto Island.

Pay a visit to the first true Serpentarium in South Carolina. The Serpentarium is a facility dedicated solely to preserving reptiles in the state. Embark on a fishing trip with the fish Chaterers in the town for some fast-action offshore fishing. You might catch some spot-tail bass or red drums if you are lucky.

One great way to explore this town is by water. Join a boat tour around the Island, exploring every area of Edisto Island surrounding the Ace Basin. You get to see the wildlife of the Island closely during your tour.

York

The town of York is 27 miles away from Charlotte, North Carolina. York shares its northern boundary with North Carolina, Catawba River to the east, and Broad River to the west. The town has a rich history, with the historic buildings still standing as a representation of the town's glory days.

Visitors can learn more about the town from the local museums like Brattsonsville and the McCelvey Museum. Shoppers are not left behind; get whatever you want or need from Yorkville Marketplace, from gift items to clothes.

Visit the Bush N Vine Farm in York to shop for fresh, in-grown farm produce at a pocket-friendly price. There are several vineyards and wineries like Grapevine Wine Bar and Illumination Wines for wine enthusiasts to explore.

Hartsville

Named after Captain Thomas E. Hart, a man who owned most of the lands in the town. Hartsville, a two-time awardee of the All-America State, is a perfect place to spend your holiday. There are many tourist gems hidden in this small town.

The Kalmia Gardens is a major attraction in Hartsville. On a tour around these gardens, visitors see Captain Thomas's house, widely diverse botanical gardens, and Cypress Swamp. It is 35 acres of nature's goodness.

There are several parks in Hartsville to visit. Lawton Park provides you with a beautiful view of the sun as it sets and meets the lake. Dine at J. Michael’s Grill or Hoof and Hound, some of the finest restaurants in town, from barbecue to sushi; every meal on the menu warms your heart and lights up your soul.

Clemson

Set on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the small town of Clemson. It is home to the popular Clemson University. The town locals and college students have built a tightly knit bond, and in 2015, the Princeton Review named the town #1 in the US for “Town and Gown” relations with its resident university.

There is so much to see and do in this small town, from historic sites to recreational activities; you get to have a first-hand experience of all this town has to offer. The town is flooded with museums, each telling its own story. The Clemson College Barn is the oldest building associated with agriculture. Other historic museums include the Forthill Museum, Hanover House, etc.

Pass through Clemson’s experimental forests to access Lake Hartwell. The 17,500 acres of forest land offer several recreational activities, from hiking to bird watching.

Beaufort

Fondly called the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands,” Beaufort is a beautiful town and the second oldest town in South Carolina. The town has a rich cultural history and is known for its Southern hospitality. Named by National Geographic Adventure as one of the “Top 50 Adventure Towns,” Beaufort has no dull moments.

Take home a piece of every Beaufort location in a photograph. The Beaufort Photography tour guides visitors around the beautiful town, helping them capture every moment with their camera so they are constantly reminded of their experience in Beaufort.

Go on a boat cruise along the Beaufort Waterways to catch the wild dolphins in action and discover some remote beaches that are perfect for meditation and group bonding.

Travelers Rest

Travelers Rest is in Greenville County, South Carolina. The town has a Southern hospitality charm, making everybody feel at home. The town is steaming with tourists all year round. From exploring the downtown area to engaging with the great outdoors, there is always something to entertain the crowd.

The Downtown of Travelers Rest is always bursting with activities. Visitors witness the level of hard work and craftsmanship business people in this town put into their work. Shopping is one way to support the community. From beautiful handcrafted memorabilia to locally made dresses, there is a lot you can get at the stores Downtown.

Take a picture inside Campbell's covered bridge before embarking on an adventure to explore the great outdoors. From hiking through the town’s Park Trails to kayaking down the surrounding rivers, visitors are sure to have a swirl time in Travelers Rest.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah is a barrier Island 25 miles away from Charleston. This town is known for its pristine beaches, world-class golf course, and amazing wildlife. Get a view of the amazing wildlife on this island, from Bobcats to Ospreys. Kiawah Island is home to diverse wildlife.

Enjoy the stroll around the Kiawah beach. A better way to explore this small Island town is by biking on the beautifully paved biking trails. On your bike, you are privileged to explore areas of the island you can not explore on foot or with a car.

Are you a fan of golf and tennis? Visit the world-class golf courses and tennis resorts on the Island, like The Ocean Course, Osprey Golf Course, or Cougar Point Golf Course. You can also spend time surfing, kayaking, fishing, and shelling on the Island waters.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a small town on Folly Island. The town is 11 miles from Downtown Charleston and is called the “Edge of America” by locals. The town is famous for its amazing surfing spots.

In the migration season, you can spot the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale along the coastline. This beach town offers more than just an amazing surfing experience. The town is littered with gift shops, restaurants, and bars.

Folly Beach is always alive with festivals all year round. Some popular festivals in Folly Beach are Tastes Folly, Sea and Sand Festival, and Bill Murray Polar Plunge.

Aiken

Named after the South Carolina Railroad President, Williams Aiken, Aiken is a small town with a southern charm. The town was named the “Best Town of the South” by Southern Living. The Aiken Arboretum Trail is a hidden gem in this small town that keeps attracting nature lovers to see the diverse tree species available.

Shop for farm produce at Aiken's farmers' market, from tomatoes to baked food. Explore the fine dining options in town, from steaks to stuffed potatoes. Every meal on the menu is sure to leave you wanting more. Shop for clothes and antiques at the local antique shops and boutiques downtown or view artworks by local artists at Aikens Art Center.

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a barrier island in South Carolina, known for its beach, beautiful waterfront view, world-class golf course, and local restaurants. The Isle of Palms Beaches is a major tourist attraction. Tourists enjoy sunbathing by the seashore in front of the crystal-clear waterfront. The sandy shoreline is perfect for building sand castles, every child’s dream come true.

Enjoy the beautiful wildlife on the Isle of Palms on a tour organized by Barrier Island Eco Tours. The tour takes you around the salt marshes, tidal creek, and intercoastalways. On the tour, you get to see the Bottlenose Dolphins, Loggerhead Turtles, and other wildlife.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island was named after Captain William Hilton, who identified it in 1663 at the entrance of the Port Royal Entrance. It is a popular vacation spot for tourists. In 2004, an estimated number of 2.25 million visitors contributed to the town’s economy.

Hilton Head Island is perfect for family getaway vacations. Enjoy quality family time playing family games and building sand castles on any of the beaches on the Island. The water around this Island is perfect for kayaking, fishing, and surfing.

Take a guided tour around the historical spots of this historic town with Hilton Head History Tours. Endless activities await you, from shopping to trying out the amazing cuisine served in the restaurants in town or on the beachside.

Next Up in South Carolina11 Best Small Towns in South Carolina for Retirees

South Carolina, known for its southern hospitality, is a tourist favorite because of its warm and humid climate. This state is bounded on the Southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and an array of small towns litter its coastline. Enjoy climbing mountain trails and surfing against the sea waves while in these small towns. This guide will ensure you have fun at top tourist attractions when you visit these top-rated small towns in South Carolina. Pack your bags and visit these southern beauties today.

Enjoy A Laid Back Day On The Shores Of Folly Beach, SC

Have you visited Folly Beach, SC? No matter what kind of beach trip you are looking for, you can find it on the barrier islands of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach is your best bet for the perfect mix of relaxing beaches and spots to dine. Folly Island is 18 square miles of sand and sun and offers a beach town vibe just 20 minutes from the tourist attractions of Charleston. This article includes:...

Have you visited Folly Beach, SC? No matter what kind of beach trip you are looking for, you can find it on the barrier islands of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach is your best bet for the perfect mix of relaxing beaches and spots to dine. Folly Island is 18 square miles of sand and sun and offers a beach town vibe just 20 minutes from the tourist attractions of Charleston.

This article includes:Public Beach Access on Folly IslandFolly Island Places to Eat

Take A Trip To Visit More Beaches That Are Located Not Far From The Upstate!

Folly Island On The Coast Of South Carolina

The beaches of the Low Country offer something for everyone when it comes to a beach trip. For a quiet, non-commercialized beach experience, Kiawah Island’s Beach Walker Park is my go-to option. However, if a tourist-heavy, commercialized expertise is what you seek, Isle Of Palms fits the bill.

If a sandy spot somewhere in the middle of both is what you want, then the beaches of Folly Island are perfect. They are family-friendly, quiet, and some access points have restrooms and showers for beachgoers to use. The downtown area of Folly Island offers a funky beach town vibe that’s solidified its place in the history of the SC coast.

Here’s a Great Map of Folly Island To Show The Kids

Where to Stay Near Folly Beach, SC

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Accessing The Beach On Folly Island

With six miles of shoreline, there’s no shortage of sand to spread out on when visiting Folly Beach. Finding beach access isn’t difficult, but depending on your family’s needs, one access might be more suitable than another.

Located on the southern tip of Folly Island, the county park offers families all of the amenities they might need including showers, restrooms, a seasonal concession stand, seasonal lifeguards, and chair rentals.

The parking fees range from $5-$20, depending on the season, and are $20 on weekends and summer holidays. Park gates are open from 8 am to sunset.

The Folly Beach Ocean Park is located at the end of West Arctic Avenue. It offers beachgoers restroom and shower facilities that are free and open to the public (currently only open during the summer.)

At the end of nearly every block on the island there is a beach access pathway. Some spots include parking if space permits, otherwise you can park streetside.

The further you drive away from the pier, the less the metered parking costs. By quite a bit. If you aren’t trying to be right next to the pier and center street, drive a few miles north to find cheaper meter rates. The parking meter fees can be paid through a kiosk, or with the PARK Folly Beach app.

The centerpiece of Folly Island is the Folly Beach Pier. The pier was recently renovated. Amenities at Folly Beach Pier include the gift shop, restrooms, showers, changing rooms, and wheelchair beach access.

The Pier 101 Restaurant is open Wednesday through Monday, and offers seafood, sandwiches, and more!

Swimming is permitted on the beach that flanks the sides of the pier, however, the undertow can become dangerous near the pier causing unsafe conditions. Also, people throw baited hooks off of that pier looking to catch “a big un”. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to be swimming near where people are reeling in jaws.

The parking fees range from $5-$20, depending on the season, and are $20 on weekends and summer holidays. Pier hours vary by season, so be sure to check the park’s site before venturing out.

Places To Eat On Folly Island

There are plenty of spots to choose from when it comes to meals on Folly Island. These are just a few of our favorites when we head out to spend the day on Folly Beach.

Taco BoyAmeri-mex style food with a kid’s menu, and a full bar. Great spot for nachos and margs after a day on the beach.

The Lost Dog Cafe

The perfect spot for breakfast or brunch, The Lost Dog has sandwiches, burgers, breakfast (all day), and more.

Saint James Gate Proper Irish Pub & Three Monkey’s Ice CreamThe menu here has a little bit of everything, including tacos. It’s kid & dog-friendly! Plus they have some delicious dessert options.

The Pineapple HutIf you spend any time on Folly Island, you are bound to see people walking down the street with a pineapple in their hands. This food truck is where it came from, filled with Dole Whip, or one of their weekly special flavors of soft-serve style ice cream. (March through November).

Folly Beach leaders discuss distribution of short-term rental licenses

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — The City of Folly Beach is trying to figure out who deserves a short-term rental license.City leaders are working on logistics to put a cap in place. There are currently 955 investment short-term rental licenses, but the city has to get that number to 800 after a vote in February.For people wanting a license in the future, Mayor Tim Goodwin said there are a few different options.Read more: ...

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — The City of Folly Beach is trying to figure out who deserves a short-term rental license.

City leaders are working on logistics to put a cap in place. There are currently 955 investment short-term rental licenses, but the city has to get that number to 800 after a vote in February.

For people wanting a license in the future, Mayor Tim Goodwin said there are a few different options.

Read more: "Isle of Palms residents to decide on capping short-term rental licenses in upcoming vote."

First is the option for an investment short-term rental license random lottery system. Second would be a first come, first serve system. Third is a preferential system -- taking into account certain criteria.

Goodwin said he prefers a hybrid of random and first come, first served.

"I thought everybody who wants to sign up, sign up," Goodwin said. "You do a lottery for the first however many names that is. What your position is on that lottery, and then after that, it's just whoever signs up next in line, you go down the list."

Read more: "New ordinances could affect number of short-term rentals on Folly Beach."

Other city council members said it is dependent on what ordinances are passed first. They believe, in some cases, it's fair to the taxpayers to use preferential considering things like account residency status, residency length, and family relationships.

Short-term rental license owners wanting to pass down their license to an heir or beneficiary are asking the city if it is still possible with the cap.

It's still up for debate, but the mayor proposed an idea.

Read more: "Isle of Palms residents rally for cap on short-term rentals: Referendum to hit upcoming ballot."

"You would get one, but that couldn't go any further," Goodwin said. "That was just one time to your heirs as listed in the control group of family members."

Right now, there are two license options: an owner short-term rental or an investment short-term rental.

The city is considering replacing owner licenses with something called limited short-term rental licenses.

Read more: "Short-term rental regulations in Mount Pleasant could become stricter."

"The people in the community keep saying where's the waitlist? Well, we have to know what you're gonna wait on before we create a waitlist," Goodwin said.

This new category would base a license on the number of nights the property would be rented.

In this new category, properties would be limited to 72 rental nights per year.

Read more: "Folly Beach residents argue whether or not to limit short term rentals."

If they do this, they’d have to go back and look at investment short-term rental licenses to balance things out.

"The references to lowering the cap number is to offset another potential of limited license that would be added, so that is kind of where we are," Goodwin said. "The 800 would go to some other number for unlimited licenses and to accommodate the limited licenses."

Leaders said this new license would be a compromise.

Read more: "Task Force Tackling Short-Term Rentals in Downtown Charleston."

However, many council members saw more cons than pros.

The city council will discuss the waitlist and other ordinances in a special workshop on Jan. 9.

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Their goal is to vote before the next business license cycle at the beginning of March.

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