March 31, 2020
Emergency Ordinance Passed By Town Council
Yesterday afternoon, Town Council held a special call meeting and passed an amended emergency ordinance regarding short-term rentals, the advertising of rentals, and social gatherings.
The following emergency procedures were adopted, effective immediately, and remain in effect until May 22, 2020, unless otherwise terminated, amended, or extended by Council:
- Pursuant to CDC guidelines, social gatherings of 10 or more people, for any reason other than working at or receiving essential services, are prohibited.
- Starting on April 4, 2020 through May 15, 2020, no new short-term rental check-ins are permitted. This applies to all check-ins regardless of when the reservation was made. Guests currently checked in may remain. Homeowners making personal use of their property are exempt.
- Advertising of short-term rentals is prohibited for an occupancy commencing between March 25, 2020 through May 15, 2020. All online booking calendars must indicate that units are not available during that period. Short-term rental owners may continue to advertise for rentals commencing on or after May 16.
- Property managers must inform in writing all renters currently in residence or arriving prior to April 4, of the restrictions on social gathering guidelines and Governor McMaster’s Executive Order which requires self-quarantine for individuals entering South Carolina from high-risk areas with substantial community spread (states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut and the City of New Orleans, Louisiana) for a period of fourteen (14) days.
Any property found in violation of the short-term rental provisions contained in this emergency ordinance (Municipal Code Ordinance Section 14-507), will be subject to fines or suspension of their rental license.
In explaining the Town Council’s action yesterday, Mayor Weaver stated, “when we first considered the issue of visitors to the island last week we thought the action we took to limit new rental bookings provided necessary protection of our residents in the community while giving consideration to the impact on our 1,300 rental property owners. Statements and actions at the National and State level over the weekend made it evident that we needed stronger and longer term measures in place to ensure that the risk of the virus entering from outside of Kiawah was better managed. I know that all of our Council members heard that message directly from members of our community over the weekend.”
The meeting replay is available here.
The full emergency ordinance is available here.