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Message From the President – March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

Dear Dewees Island Friends

This morning the SCDNR rejected our Proposed Plan for Reintroducing STR to Dewees Island and referenced a DNR letter to the POA dated April 25, 2019 in a Board Resolution.

I referenced the same letter in my comments before the DNR Board went into executive session.  Here is part of my prepared remarks:

“In April of 2019, then SCDNR Director Taylor sent a letter to then POA President Dr. Peter Cotton requesting a proposal within 60 days that addresses ‘the concerns that have been expressed to bring activity in compliance with the Conservation Easement.’”

“Well, almost almost two years later, you have our proposal, but unfortunately, I am not able to report to you that this plan represents final resolution to the STR matter or that the Plan has universal support on our island. However, I do believe this plan addresses those aspects of STR that may be construed as commercial in nature or out of line with our CE.”

“My request of DNR today is to look at the essential elements of this plan that address the commercialized aspects of STR and let us know if you see problems with our Conservation Agreement.  The 4 essential elements that I refer to are….”

  • Use of internet booking sites, like Airbnb or VRBO, to list a home for rent: Prohibited
  • Use of a commercial rental agency, realtor or broker to list a home for rent: Prohibited
  • Maximum rental days per home in a calendar year: 56
  • Maximum rental days per home during the summer: 28

And here is part of the SCDNR Board Resolution passed this morning after the Board returned from executive session:

WHEREAS:

The Department by letter of April 25, 2019, directed the Dewees Island Property Owners Association (“‘POA”) and other concerned individuals and stakeholders to meet to formulate an appropriate and reasonable framework for restricting, if not eliminating over time, commercialized rental activity and restoring residential and lodging activity consistent with the Conservation Easement and the Dewees Island Land Use Plan within 60 days thereof: and

WHEREAS:

To date, the POA has not been able to deliver such an approved framework: and …

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

Unless and until the Department is presented with a duly approved framework consistent with the Department’s letter of April 25, 2019 addressing unregulated and unrestrained commercial activity on Dewees Island associated with short-term rentals, no short-term rentals, as defined by Charleston County ordinance, on Dewees Island will be approved by the Department, other than owner-to-owner rentals.

Obviously, this was not the response I was looking for, but I remain optimistic that there is enough common ground and goodwill on our island to resolve the issue of STR. I look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Wendell Reilly
President, POA Board