List of possible Beaufort 'botel' restrictions continues to grow

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 22, 2013 

  • In other business Tuesday, City Council:

  • Heard a report on the budget for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 from finance director Kathy Todd.

  • Discussed a concern from Lt. Dan Weekend 3 officials about billing for police and public works.

  • Gave initial approval to changes to the budget regarding repair of sound systems, vehicle purchases and sales. A second vote is needed.

  • Approved allowing staff to participate in the S.C. Local Government Investment Pool.

  • Committed about $50,000 in matching local funds to go with approximately $500,000 in grants the city is applying for from the state for improvements on Duke Street. A public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

  • Canceled the Feb. 12 meeting and approved a special meeting for Feb. 19. Council members will be at a meeting of the Municipal Association of S.C. on Feb. 13.

Discussions continued Tuesday on allowing boat hotels at the Beaufort downtown marina, and the list of proposed restrictions for such businesses keeps growing.

Ted Andrae of Andrae Boat Co., which owns the 93-foot yacht The Charlestonian docked at the marina, has asked City Council to change ordinances restricting overnight accommodations in the marina. The marina is in a special zone designed to protect wildlife and recreational space.

Original recommendations proposed a limit of six "botels" -- now reduced to three -- with up to five rooms apiece, a city-approved site plan for proper waste disposal, and an on-site manager whenever botels with more than one room are occupied. They also would need appropriate insurance and vessel certifications.

Other changes added to the proposal from city staff include a length limit of 100 feet for botels, a space per room in the marina parking lot, an annual Coast Guard inspection, and a requirement that the boats be docked at the marina so emergency personnel can access them.

During a City Council work session Tuesday, Councilman Mike Sutton said that boat size is irrelevant, and more focus should be on their appearance. Noise traveling across the water from social functions also concerns him.

He questioned whether the docks, which he said are in "terrible shape," are strong enough to handle the large boats and have the utilities needed for so many overnight guests.

"I wouldn't say it's so terrible we couldn't accommodate the vessel," marina operator Rick Griffin said.

Mayor Billy Keyserling questioned whether botels belong in the marina at all.

"I think it's all about the character of the marina, the character of the downtown," he said.

To take effect, any ordinance allowing botels would need two votes by City Council.

Related content

  1. Beaufort marina boat hotel proposal faces additional restrictions, Jan. 8, 2012
  2. Floating boat hotel -- "botel" -- gets nod from Beaufort commission, Dec. 17, 2012
  3. Beaufort considers 'floating hotel' at downtown marina, Dec. 11, 2012

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