Editor’s note: This article was updated with new information about voting results on Monday morning.
Voters in one of Hilton Head’s largest gated communities are getting close to banning short-term rentals, and leaders are actively campaigning to pass it.
Hilton Head Plantation needs 10 more votes to pass the ban on any lease less than six months long, according to the latest update from the POA.
Throughout the month-long election, the POA has relentlessly pushed to pass the ban through email blasts, printed materials and signage on the property.
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“The HHPPOA Board of Directors urges you to vote in favor of the covenant change,” board members wrote in an email to all property owners titled “Vote YES for the covenant change.”
Third parties have launched phone call campaigns supporting the ban, which say eliminating temporary renters will maintain the community’s neighborly feel.
To change the community’s covenants, 67 percent of all property owners must vote to add the amendment that would stop short-term rentals. Property owners have until March 21 to vote, and there were 2,372 votes in favor of the amendment as of Friday afternoon.
Opponents of the ban say it would “retroactively” take away their rights to rent their homes and bring in income, according to an anonymous letter to homeowners. The letter accused supporters of “spreading fear and innuendo.”
Of the 4,141 homes in Hilton Head Plantation, general manager Peter Kristian said in October that the amendment would affect “under 25 properties at this point.”
Nearby town governments in the Lowcountry are considering short-term rentals as well.
The Town of Bluffton discussed potential short-term rental regulations on Tuesday, where council members ultimately decided they want to create a focus group of residents to weigh the issue.
Five gated communities already ban short-term rentals on Hilton Head — that list can be found on The Island Packet’s website.