North Myrtle Beach Passes First Reading of Short-Term Rental Parking Rules | national news
North Myrtle Beach City Council on Friday passed first reading of the latest version of a transitional parking order designed to control parking overflow in short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.
Councilors put the brakes on the first draft of the ordinance on May 3 over concerns from the rental industry, and shifted again on a second draft presented at a workshop on Wednesday before passing a vote to unanimity on the third attempt.
“We had recommendations that were presented to us by some rental companies and I asked the lawyers if they wanted to sit down and talk with our lawyers and our staff and ‘Let’s try to figure out the differences that we have’, and I think they made a really good prescription, ”said Mayor Marilyn Hatley.
The ordinance requires owners of short-term rental properties who rent for less than 90 days both to report to the city the maximum number of residential private parking spaces available on-site and to communicate this information to customers in advertisements, rental contracts. and displays inside the units.
If the rental is part of an association of owners, an association of owners or has an act restriction limiting the number of parking spaces per resident, the owner must certify to the city that his declared number of spaces is in conformity. what their HOA, POA or deed allows them to have, says the ordinance.
End-to-end parking is permitted, but parking spaces must be on private property, not in the city right-of-way and cannot encroach on a sidewalk. It is also forbidden to park in landscaped beds or to park so that the vehicle overhangs other land.
The ordinance includes other regulations for temporary parking, defined as “short-term parking, usually a week or less”. For example, where shoulder parking is permitted, no one is allowed to park within 9 meters of the edge of an intersection and cars parked at the shoulder cannot exceed the edge of the sidewalk. pavement.
It differs in several important ways from the first version presented to council: The requirement for landowners to purchase offsite parking is gone, as is the 9-by-19-foot parking space size regulation. Temporary parking is no longer defined as “generally daily or less”, as was the case in the May 3 version, and the latest ordinance does not divide short-term rentals into two different categories of single-family and multi-family properties. .
The first version sparked complaints from the rental industry and advisers Hank Thomas and Trey Skidmore.
“I think it’s a really good prescription,” Thomas said on Friday. “There’s been a lot of collaboration between the staff, the board and the business community, and I think we’ve got it right. We didn’t need to create two classes. We could do whatever we wanted to do, what we did, in the current configuration. ”
The city has more than 4,000 homes offered through online rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, and these rentals have been causing headaches in recent years.
“Over the past few years we have received a tremendous amount of calls that have arrived in the city from people living in residential areas who are having problems with short term rental homes overloaded with cars and no spaces. parking, ”Hatley said. “It’s dangerous when cars are parked on the road and you can’t move, or can even prevent, say, a fire engine or a rescue team or something like that from passing by if you have them.” parked on both sides, so we listened.
Parking aside, the biggest complaints about the industry are due to excessive noise and piles of old trash. The city has already tightened its noise ordinance and enforcement, and increased the frequency of garbage pick-up from short-term rentals in residential areas. Crowded streets were the last issue councilors faced.
“We just want to fix the issues, because noise, garbage and parking are the biggest complaints from these short-term rentals,” said councilor Nikki Fontana. “We just want everything to be coherent and for everything to be fluid for the tourists who visit us and for the residents. And we just don’t want to disrupt the quality of life of our permanent residents who have to live next to a rental property.
City spokesman Pat Dowling said the order was based on complaints and officers were not looking to punish residents who have a lot of guests. Officers will show up to assess the situation before handing down penalties, he said.
“Anyone who is there on a temporary basis is a passenger, if they park they register with the law itself,” said Dowling. “If you live there full time you still have to obey the law, but if you take a bridal shower and have plenty of parking around your house for a few hours, that’s not the point. of that ordinance; the point of this ordinance is that when someone rents a residential house in a neighborhood and parks all over the place and is there for a week or more, then that is what we want to put online.
A car illegally parked under the ordinance will receive a citation. A homeowner found guilty of breaking the ordinance will be fined up to $ 500 and / or up to 30 days in jail for an offense.
Rick Elliot, who owns Elliot Realty, had a number of complaints about the first draft of the rules but said he was happy with the order that was approved. But he was not happy that the first version of the ordinance was drafted without input from the rental industry.
Typically, the general public does not see a new ordinance until it is written and attached to an agenda before first reading. It takes two readings to pass an ordinance, and the public is allowed to give their opinion before votes are taken. Public participation from Elliot and his lawyers at the first reading on May 3 prompted city council to return to the drawing board and revise the ordinance.
“We have to question the process,” Elliot said. “It needs to be corrected so that the industries involved and the affected public are a little more aware of the issues before things are drafted.”