COLUMBIA – Colombia city leaders move forward with promised look at short-term rental policies amid concerns from a large business advocacy group worried about its impact on an emerging economy barely of a pandemic.
A three-person city council committee made up of Will Brennan, Sam Davis and Howard Duvall will consider a proposed ordinance establishing property bylaws, which could include a ban on renting if the owner does not live on site .
Council members approved the panel on July 20, saying it has become a hot topic among voters that deserves close scrutiny. No date has been set for its first meeting, but Duvall said the process will be comprehensive.
“I consider this to be a multi-month event, so we’re going to get a lot of testimonials from a lot of people,” he said.
The demand for short-term home stays in the South Carolina capital is on the rise. In the second quarter of this year, 728 rental properties are active, a jump of almost 11% from the same amount in 2020 according to industry tracker AirDNA.
The average daily rate in May was $ 149, while occupancy rates fell from 48% in December to 77% as of June 30, AirDNA reported.
If Columbia develops short-term rental guidelines, it will join other communities in the area such as Beaufort, Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.
In Charleston, short-term rentals can only be operated as part of the owner’s primary residence, with a maximum of four people. In Beaufort, self-contained short-term rentals are capped at 6% of properties in particular neighborhoods, while owner-occupied rentals, such as a shed or garage, are not counted towards the cap.
Myrtle Beach does not allow short term rentals in residential areas at all. In the capital of North Carolina, short-term rentals are permitted in residential areas, but cannot accommodate special events or gatherings in those areas and may not represent more than 25% of a unit’s units. multi-family building.
Earlier this month, Columbia Chamber of Commerce CEO Carl Blackstone was concerned about the effect a restrictive policy could have on the region as it gains popularity. On top of that, short-term rental owners pay a six percent higher property tax rate.
“At a time when we are trying to reopen ourselves from a pandemic, now is not the time to put up barriers for people visiting Columbia,” Blackstone said on July 4. “We need to open our arms and welcome people to come. anyway we can.
Town resident Carl Brown said in a written statement to council that any changes he proposes should be narrowly designed.
“I think the board should think about how it can apply the current laws and resources to tackle the ‘bad apples’ in the short rental space instead of punishing with a ‘broad brush’ those who create. businesses and provide quality, safe and needed alternatives in the city for families to visit and enjoy, ”Brown wrote.
Follow Adam Benson on Twitter @ AdamNewshound12.