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Foundation Matters

Short-Term Rental Update

Posted: October 23, 2017

The Planning Commission and Short-Term Rental (STR) Task Force will meet jointly for a workshop on November 8th to continue to refine the Short-Term Rental ordinance.  This will be the third meeting of these two bodies. There will be no public comment during the workshop.

Over the past 18 months, a STR Task Force, appointed by the city, has met on the issue. HCF’s Manager of Advocacy and Staff Attorney Christopher Cody has been a strong voice on the Task Force, vigorously advocating for the protection of the city’s Historic District. Short-term rentals represent a threat to the district because they can increase property values and displace long-term tenants and permanent residents. They also can negatively impact the livability of our neighborhoods by essentially introducing a commercial use into residential zones. Parking, trash, noise and public safety are some of the issues with which neighbors contend. More than the built environment, it is the cultural character of the Charleston Historic District that is threatened by short-term rentals.

In early October, the task force made recommendations to the Planning Commission. The proposed ordinances notably restrict short-term rentals in the Old and Historic District by requiring that properties be individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places to qualify for use as a short-term rental (less than 30 days). Citywide, the proposed ordinances also require:

HCF supports these requirements as this is a productive solution to maintaining the balance between neighborhood integrity and the opportunity for homeowners to generate additional revenue from short-term rentals.

Pictured above: STRs available on the peninsula and on James Island.  The blue dots represent private rooms.  The purple dots represent whole houses available for rent on

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