April 08, 2020
Amendments to Emergency Ordinance Passed By Town Council
This morning, Town Council held a special call meeting and passed an amended emergency ordinance regarding:
- Short-Term Rentals and Current Rentals
- Donation of the Net Amount of Fines Collected By the Town Related to Rentals
- Temporarily Suspending the Services Provided on the Beach
- Penalties for Violation of the Emergency Ordinance
- Additional Measures to Protect the Public
The following emergency procedures are effective immediately:
Short-Term Rentals and Current Rentals: The definition of “Short-term Rental” is extended from thirty (30) days to ninety (90) days. No new check-ins or reservations are permitted at any STR or any other rental of less than ninety (90) days from April 4 until May 15. Guests currently checked in may remain at the same property under the same terms of the existing rental agreement or lease.
Retail Establishments: In addition to the in-store restrictions in open retail establishments under the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21, stores must also limit customers entering the retail establishment to a single person per family or group at a time, except for shoppers with small children when no other adult is present, and persons who, for medical reasons, require assistance.
Beach Services: In response to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21, commercial businesses providing services on the beach, such as but not limited to beach chair and umbrella rentals and setups, are suspended for thirty (30) days effective, Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 5 p.m.
Fines for Violations: Violators of any provision contained in the Emergency Ordinance will be subject to a civil fine of up to $500 plus required statutory assessments.
Further Guidance on Beach Access and Activity:
The Town would like to provide clarification as to whether the Governor’s “Stay at Home or Work Order” prohibits people from using the beach.
On March 30, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2020-16, which ordered the closure of all public beach access points in the state for the duration of the State of Emergency. Since beach access points in the Town of Kiawah Island are private except for Beachwalker County Park (currently closed), they were not affected by the Governor’s executive order. The Governor has not closed the state’s beaches or any private beach access points.
The Governor’s “Stay at Home or Work Order” provides an exception for outdoor exercise or recreational activities. Since the order does not define what is considered exercise or recreational activity, our interpretation is that individuals may continue to use the beach for typical activities such as walking, running, and riding bikes.
Beach patrons should continue to practice social distancing, and groups of 10 or more must be separated. Beach Patrol is monitoring and enforcing social distancing and public congregation guidelines. To date, patrons have been cooperative and are taking personal responsibility in complying.
The meeting replay is available here.
The full emergency ordinance is available here.