Stiffer rules for owners of rental property in the town of Port Royal will be discussed at Town Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight. The meeting is set for Port Royal Town Hall, 700 Paris Ave.
Supporters of a new ordinance, including town officials, say it would make it easier to contact and hold accountable property owners and managers if an problems or code violations arise.
The new regulations would require:
- A property manager or owner to be available to respond in person to problems.
- Rental units to be registered with the town. The ordinance would allow, but not require, Town Council to charge a registration fee.
- A points system to track reports of problems, such as noise and parking violations, disorderly conduct and unsanitary conditions. It also would allow business licenses to be revoked for a year if too many points accumulate.
Several property managers and owners spoke out against the ordinance last week and said they plan to attend the hearing.
Tonight's public hearing will also include discussion on the rezoning of 132 and 134 Johnny Morrall Circle and an ordinance that would allow residents to keep up to six chickens. It is currently illegal to keep a chicken in town. Both have been initially approved.
A work session meeting will follow the public hearing to discuss the agenda for the Feb. 14 voting meeting. Those meetings are usually held on Wednesdays, but this one was moved to 6:30 p.m. Thursday this month.
All three issues from the hearing are expected to be voted on a second and final time Feb. 14.
A contract with the city of Beaufort for fire service will also be discussed Feb. 14. For more than 20 years, the shared services agrement has allowed cost and personnel efficiencies, officials have said. The firefighters are employed by Beaufort, and Port Royal pays a negotiated portion of the costs.
The municipalities have discussed consolidating town and city assets — buildings, equipment and vehicles — and costs would be broken down based on population and buildings in the coverage area. Beaufort would pay about 70 percent and Port Royal about 30 percent under that arrangement, city manager Scott Dadson has said previously.
For more details, check back with the Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet later today, and follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
Related content: Proposed Port Royal rental ordinance concerns some property owners, Jan. 29, 2013Short-term rental law ready to be put on books, July 15, 2011Beaufort, Port Royal councils work together on proposed fire department contract, June 19, 2012