Yesterday marked the 1st reading by the City of Folly Beach’s City Council to the new zoning and land use ordinance.  This ordinance, also commonly known as the “zoning re-write”, is the culmination of three year’s work by Clarion, City Council and the Planning Commission.  This zoning and building code has been reorganized time and time again and has been met and most likely will be met again with resistance as it gets closer to passing.

Below is a summation of items on the proposed ordinance:

  • Maximum coverage of a house on a lot will be limited to 35% of a lots’ high ground.
  • Homes on “standard” lots cannot exceed 3600 square feet and smaller lots would be limited to maximum square footage of 3100 square feet.
  • Building a home of the maximum square footage (4500 sq/ft.) would require a lot of twice the size of a standard lot.
  • Multi-family housing will be an allowable use again however there will be strict control on the type and height of such units.
  • R-2 lots (duplex lots) will once again be permitted to build two separate structures on the lot where currently only a connected back-to-back or side-by-side duplex is permitted.  This change is being implemented in an attempt to increase the “cottage feel” of Folly Beach by scattering smaller dwellings throughout the island.
  • A number of vacation rental issues are to be addressed as well including but not limited to providing the city with a local agent contact for each property and submitting all Folly Beach rules and regulations to all rental guests prior to or at check in and having these guests sign off that they have read and understand all regulations.
  • Bars, restaurants and clubs will be limited to the Downtown Commercial district currently zoned C-1.

After first reading the Zoning and Land Use Ordinance will go to the Planning Commission, which has scheduled a Public Hearing for Monday, March 1.  The entire proposal is available on line at  Stay tuned for results and residential as well as commercial feedback.  This should be a highly contested ordinance.