The owner of a 93-foot yacht wants to open a boat motel, a proposal city of Beaufort officials are calling a "botel."
The Charlestonian is tied up in the Beaufort Downtown Marina and owner Andrae Boat Co., is asking the city to change an ordinance so overnight guest are allowed in the area know as a conservation preservation district. Such a district is designed to protect wildlife refuges, natural areas, outdoor recreational space and areas that flood periodically.
The boat would provide up to five guest rooms and would not tour waterways, according to the request made Tuesday night at a city council meeting.
The Planning Commission and city staff recommend council consider allowing the floating hotels on a conditional basis. City planner Libby Anderson said the proposal is "basically a floating hotel" since it is not part of a tour package.
The Redevelopment Commission was supportive of the idea at last week's meeting, Anderson said, as long as the number of such facilities are limited and don't impede the downtown master plan.
Floating hotel conditions:
Beaufort marina manager Rick Griffin wrote to the city in support of the request, saying such a facilty would bring "high-end guests to downtown Beaufort who will eat in restaurants and shop in the stores."
Five residents and nearby property owners wrote letters objecting to any change in the ordinance.
Bluff resident Stephen P. Hughes wrote a floating hotel could have negative environmental consequences.
Owner Ted Andrae told council he was willing to cooperate with the city on conditions and he hoped the ordinance could be revised.
The change would need to be voted on twice by City Council to go into effect.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.