For the average person, dealing with technology issues is often limited to dropped phone calls and lousy wi-fi connections. These solutions are easy enough to fix - it only takes a few seconds to re-start a router or re-boot your phone. But trying to find a solution to problems like server implementation or network installation is another ballgame entirely. Without the help of a professional, fixing these problems is like trying to walk home with a blindfold. There's a slight chance you might make it, but you're probably going to do more harm than good.
If you're a homeowner or business owner trying to wrap your head around a nuanced issue like network design, it's best to trust a company that specializes in managed IT services in cityname, state. That's where Atlantic Computer Services comes to the rescue.
For more than seven years, ACS has served the Lowcountry with the highest quality IT support and computer services in the game. Unlike other computer services companies, our team works as your partner to provide you with a full range of personalized IT computer services. From network IT support and cloud hosting to computer repair and disaster planning for important data, ACS exists to cater to your IT needs.
Our comprehensive list of IT services brings innate value to our clients. As a full-service IT support company, we serve businesses in various industries, from healthcare and finance to legal and education. Our team acts as an extension of your business, propelling you toward efficient, streamlined, worry-free IT solutions that let you focus on growing your company. That way, our team can work hard in the background while you focus on your day-to-day responsibilities.
Some of the most common IT support services we offer include:
Malware Removal and Prevention
Managed IT Services
Managed Services Help Desk
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- Managed IT services in Folly Beach, SC
- The ACS Difference
- Serving Your Business with Trustworthy Computer Services in Folly Beach, SC
- Remain Competitive with Managed IT Services in Folly Beach, SC
- Network Installation and Support from ACS
- Protect the Business You've Built with Ongoing Network Security
- Atlantic Computer Services: An IT Provider You Can Trust
What Clients Say About Us
Network Security for Carolyn Burson
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The ACS Difference
At Atlantic Computer Services, we offer trustworthy, expert IT support in cityname, state. Unlike other IT support companies, our goal isn't to upsell you on unnecessary products or trick you with fine print. Our goal is to keep your business productive, profitable, and secure through the innovative use of technology.
With 24/7 availability, extensive cloud and hybrid hosting services, remote monitoring, and onsite support, ACS acts as your personal IT department without having to create, hire, and manage a team of professionals. And while our IT technicians hold many national certifications, we're proud to say we're Lowcountry locals.
Because we understand no two clients are the same, we keep our managed IT services customizable and personalized to your business, not someone else's. That way, you get the most value for your money without worrying about cookie-cutter solutions or mediocre service.
Businesses of all sizes trust Atlantic Computer Services because we provide:
Full-Service Help Desk Assistance
When an issue arises, our seasoned IT advisors are here to help 24/7.
ACS wants to see you succeed. Our smart IT solutions are modern, effective, and fortified with experience.
Expert IT Technicians
We offer a full team of diversified IT experts that solve many modern IT problems.
Instead of being reactive, our technicians are proactive and monitor your systems 24-hours a day to troubleshoot and resolve issues.
Serving Your Business with Trustworthy Computer Services in Folly Beach, SC
South Carolina's Lowcountry is home to many successful businesses, from small mom-and-pop shops to large, multi-national companies with hundreds of employees. And while every business has its niche, products, and customers, each relies on technology to keep its doors open.
Technology runs behind the scenes silently, giving you the means to achieve your business dreams and reach the customers who will get you there. However, business tech is constantly evolving. What was once a viable solution today might be an outdated tactic tomorrow. That's why, at ACS, we focus on understanding your company's culture, challenges, and needs so we can deliver the IT solutions your business truly needs.
Having a reliable IT solutions company to implement, maintain, and protect that technology is crucial to your business's growth and success. Whether it's migrating data to a new location, overseeing a new system roll-out, or implementing essential security upgrades, IT projects and tasks can be exceedingly complex. ACS exists to shoulder that burden and save our clients time and money by acting as their partner, offering specialized IT support catered to their budget and needs.
With Atlantic Computer Solutions by your company's side, you never have to stress about tech again. With ACS as your partner, you have the opportunity to:
- Get an expert IT support consultant without overspending on in-house IT help
- Keep your most sensitive business data secure and backed up
- Create scalable technology infrastructure
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- Boost business productivity
- Minimize network system downtime
Curious about what kind of IT support ACS offers? Keep reading to learn more about some of our most common services.
Remain Competitive with Managed IT Services in Folly Beach, SC
In today's fast-paced, ultra-competitive business world, modern companies must be nimble and responsive to remain competitive. Often, you must leverage your current tech to maximize your business's performance, protect sensitive data, and streamline your costs. To help your business stay successful and safe as we progress through the 2020s, ACS steps in to provide:
Preventative IT Services
Our team monitors your systems remotely to identify potential problems and breaches before your operations are disrupted.
Proactive IT Services
Our team helps implement scalability and flexibility with strategic evaluations and tactical IT planning.
Responsive IT Services
Our local team of ultra-talented IT experts can help with your IT issues onsite and remotely.
Why choose Atlantic Computer Services as your managed services helpdesk? From automated network maintenance to around-the-clock monitoring and IT support, we remove all the stress associated with IT. That way, you can focus on doing what you do best: satisfying your customers and building your business.
Helping Your Dreams Turn Into Reality
Technology doesn't only help companies perform quicker and more efficiently. It provides security against hackers, viruses, malicious actors, and human errors. It saves you money and time through streamlined processes. But it can also be a huge distraction from your business goals and dreams. That's especially true when you try to solve complicated IT issues on your own. As your IT management company, ACS supplements your business with real-deal expertise, so you don't stray from your ultimate vision.
Your Answer to Full-Time IT Support
If you find that your company needs IT support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it's time to contact ACS. We provide cost-effective, pragmatic IT outsourcing solutions customized to your business needs. That way, you don't have to take out another line of credit just to keep your data safe and your business up-to-date.Free Estimate
Elite IT Skills
If you're looking for an IT support company with the kind of diverse skillsets to address complex business challenges, look no further than ACS. From cloud hosting and VOIP help to computer repair and new business technologies, Atlantic Computer Services combines national-level know-how with reliable local service.843-810-2620
Network Installation and Support from ACS
Behind the scenes, your company's network acts as the unseen superhero in your universe, working day and night to ensure your data gets to where it needs to go. As the hub of your business, system downtime is both frustrating and worrisome from a financial standpoint. One minute, it's working just fine. But like the car you drive, your network needs maintenance and will one day need to be overhauled.
At ACS, we employ a proactive approach to network and server management to help eliminate network downtime as much as possible. Additionally, our team of managed IT services experts works with you to ensure your network and server design are appropriate for the tasks you're trying to complete.
From on-premises server maintenance to enterprise-level network systems that must accommodate huge demand spikes, we've got your back. Our team works extra hard to ensure your system delivers the speed and security you need.Free Estimate
A few of our network installation and support services include:
With years of network IT support experience, we've learned to spot performance issues early so our team can resolve them before they affect your business. As part of our cyclical performance audits, we evaluate benchmark tests, resource-usage trends, and capacity analysis to measure your server's ability to handle traffic and any projected spikes or lulls in productivity.
Detecting issues with servers and networks early on minimizes threats to your network's performance and protects your business data. That's why we're monitoring your network 24/7. We're looking for problems with your connectivity, system performance, database response time, access speeds, and network utilization. To put it simply, we keep track of every aspect of your network, so you get the most out of your infrastructure.
Swift Emergency Support
By monitoring your networks every day and night of the year, we can detect issues swiftly and implement an equally fast response and solution. That way, your systems get back online ASAP.
Servers and networks fail all the time, whether it's from hardware problems or software incompatibility. When that happens, your services often come to a halt. ACS relies on our years of experience to quickly discover network issues so that we can apply a permanent fix.
Protect the Business You've Built with Ongoing Network Security
By now, you're probably familiar with terms like hackers, scammers, spoofers, malware, and ransomware. While you're putting in overtime hours to serve your customers and grow your business, malicious actors are working just as hard to wreck your business and steal your profits. Because of hackers, none of us can have nice things. Worst of all, these highly-sophisticated individuals and groups don't sleep.
Fortunately for your business, neither does ACS' network security services.843-810-2620
What is Network Security from Atlantic Computer Services?
You know the adage that says, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?" The same can be said for computer networks. In today's digitally-dominant world, your network computers are only as secure as their most vulnerable entry point. Unfortunately, modern scammers and hackers only need one hole in your defenses to ruin everything you've worked so hard to create.
From ransomware and Trojan horse strategies to viruses and malware, cyberattacks are usually destructive by nature and can wreak havoc on your company's sensitive data, processes, privacy, and productivity.
Network security services from ACS are designed to provide your business with iron-clad protection. We accomplish that mission by using innovative tools and best practices to predict, monitor, and prevent network breaches that expose privileged data to hackers.
At ACS, we understand that true network security isn't something that you can just "set and forget." It's not a series of random solutions - it's robust, proactive, and carefully tailored to your company. Our ongoing network security services in Folly Beach act as castle walls rather than rickety old fences, giving you peace of mind knowing your business has a professionally-designed security infrastructure.
When you trust ACS with your network security, you benefit from:
- Customized, Extensive, Proactive Network Defense Strategies
- Secure Data Transfers
- Full-Service Security Solutions
- PCI and HIPPA Compliance
- Enhanced Network Stability
- Reduced Risk of Cyberattacks
Atlantic Computer Services: An IT Provider You Can Trust
If you're searching for the capabilities of an IT department but don't have the time to manage such an undertaking, Atlantic Computer Services is the perfect fit for your business. ACS provides a flexible computer services support team to augment your daily and ongoing IT needs. Unlike some companies, our onsite and remote IT support exceeds service-level agreements with on-call, local live helpdesk support.
Instead of one-and-done engagements, we prefer to nurture long-term business relationships built on trust and hard work. If you're looking for reliable IT help at cost-conscious prices, look no further than Atlantic Computer Services. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help your business stay successful and secure.
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Latest News in Folly Beach, SC
IOP hosts workshop to discuss future of short-term rentals
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The council chamber at city hall was filled with residents during tonight’s workshop as city officials and residents hoped to find some clarity on how they should handle this matter going forward.Isle of Palms city leaders are listening to island residents regarding their stance on short-term rentals.“Tonight is the third in a series of meetings we’ve been having on short-term rental workshops,” Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds said. “This is the first one in Fe...
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The council chamber at city hall was filled with residents during tonight’s workshop as city officials and residents hoped to find some clarity on how they should handle this matter going forward.
Isle of Palms city leaders are listening to island residents regarding their stance on short-term rentals.
“Tonight is the third in a series of meetings we’ve been having on short-term rental workshops,” Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds said. “This is the first one in February; a series of just trying to define what success is going to look like at the end of the day. Make sure we good data, make sure we have good metrics.”
Leaders say they have hosted a number of workshops and listening sessions focused on short-term rentals in the last six months because they are vital to the city.
“Short-term rentals are critical to our island from a revenue standpoint,” Pounds said.
The number of short-term rentals on the island now exceeds 1500. City Council is now considering implementing a cap to limit that number; something several neighbors are in favor of.
“I do believe that it’s time to that council act on this particular item before it is too late,” one Isle of Palms resident said.
“Focus on restricting investment short-term rentals and protect the city,” one neighbor said, “and the residents you serve.”
“Do not make a deal with the devil,” one Isle of Palms resident said. “Do not sell our city, your city, to Airbnb and other STR companies.”
Neighbors believe the steady influx of short-term rentals will lead to the island losing its close-knit community feel.
“To leave the Isle of Palms as the only beach community in the region without a plan for limiting new short-term rental licenses,” one neighbor said, “will result in our neighborhoods being overrun by investment groups looking for rental property.”
As the island’s peak short-term rental season quickly approaches, Pounds says he hopes to have this matter resolved soon.
“All of our short-term rental licenses come due at the end of April this year,” he said. “So, I’d certainly love to have something decided by then, if not before, for sure.”
Folly Beach will vote on short-term rentals Tuesday, February 7.
Folly Beach Fishing Pier to be dedicated Wednesday
Charleston County Parks and Recreation Officials say they look forward to formally celebrating the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier Wednesday.FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Parks and Recreation Officials say they look forward to formally celebrating the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier Wednesday.The pier will be dedicated at 10 a.m. with a ceremonial cast of fishing lines following ...
Charleston County Parks and Recreation Officials say they look forward to formally celebrating the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier Wednesday.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Parks and Recreation Officials say they look forward to formally celebrating the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier Wednesday.
The pier will be dedicated at 10 a.m. with a ceremonial cast of fishing lines following a quiet opening back in December.
Charleston County Parks and Recreation spokesperson Sarah Reynolds said the history of a pier in this location dates back to the 1930s.
Reynolds said Charleston County purchased the land in 1992 and built the “original” wooden pier, which opened in 1995. After it showed signs of deteriorating, officials closed that pier in 2020, tore it down and built a new one from scratch.
But Reynolds said they didn’t want the new pier to lose its original feel, so they decided to build it in the same footprint.
The structure is made from concrete, meaning it will last generations longer than the original, but the walkways, railings and fishing stations are all wooden.
“We knew it was so important to the Lowcountry and to so many visitors and people who have made memories on the pier with fishing and, I’ve heard so many stories of people getting engaged out there and going there after their weddings and stuff, so we knew it meant a lot to a lot of people. So we wanted it to be reminiscent and nostalgic of the previous wooden pier at the site,” Reynolds said.
The pier stretches 1,049 feet and is 25 feet wide and 22 feet above sea level. Charleston County Parks and Recreation says its amenities include a 7,500-sq.-ft. diamond-shaped platform at the end of the pier, beach access, accessible restrooms, showers, rod rentals, a gift and tackle shop and oceanfront dining at Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar.
She said the pier is being dedicated to Edwin S Taylor, a prominent member of their commission in the 1990s and an instrumental part of building the original wooden pier.
The new pier is being dedicated to Taylor once again along with honoring many others who played key roles in its construction.
She said the pier is an iconic landmark, and it is important to acknowledge people who have invested so much time into making the pier a reality.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Short-term rental licenses on Folly Beach officially capped to 800
A months-long discussion came to an end Tuesday night as voters decided on the fate of short-term rentals on Folly Beach.FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - A months-long discussion came to an end Tuesday night as voters decided on the fate of short-term rentals on Folly Beach.Just 78 votes ended up separating the debate of the number of short-term rental licenses allowed on Folly Beach. The final vote rang Tuesday night after lines at the polls began at 7 a.m. officially capping the number of rentals, like condos and Airbnbs, to 800 ac...
A months-long discussion came to an end Tuesday night as voters decided on the fate of short-term rentals on Folly Beach.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - A months-long discussion came to an end Tuesday night as voters decided on the fate of short-term rentals on Folly Beach.
Just 78 votes ended up separating the debate of the number of short-term rental licenses allowed on Folly Beach. The final vote rang Tuesday night after lines at the polls began at 7 a.m. officially capping the number of rentals, like condos and Airbnbs, to 800 across the island.
There were more than 1,200 people that voted, which is about half of the number of registered voters on the island.
“This is probably the most people I’ve ever seen vote, even in a presidential election, that I can remember,” Goodwin said.
This special citizen vote tallies 655 voters for the cap on short-term rentals and 577 against it.
This issue stems back to October when a citizen petition to cap the number of short-term rentals came to city council, which was then put up to a citizen vote.
Ann Peets, who supports the cap, says she doesn’t want the permanent residents leaving because of disruptive renters.
“It’s a very tight-knit community and we feel like if people keep leaving that’s going to be lost,” Peets said.
Those against the cap on rentals, like Elton Culpepper, says he doesn’t want his kids to not have a rental option on inherited property.
“I feel like the property value will go down and they should be able to short term rental it,” Culpepper said.
Bill Murschel says he’s been renting on the island for over 25 years. Although he could not vote, he says he worries how this would affect his vacations.
“I don’t want to be priced out of the market,” Murschel said. “I want to have plenty of choices when I contact a local real estate office and pick my place.”
Mayor Goodwin says he signed the original petition and voted for the STR cap.
“We know they bring in tax dollars,” Goodwin said. “We never want to see short term rentals go away totally. It’s just where do you want your city to be in reference to a community versus businesses.”
He was asked if he thinks this will have any effect on people investing on Folly Beach in the future.
“I don’t think so,” Goodwin said. “You know, before this got started, like I said, the number was 800. That didn’t stop people from buying and selling out here... Nobody’s going to be totally happy with the vote. So, now it’s just a matter of the community coming back together and healing and let’s get on with the rest of the world.”
Goodwin says it will take several years for the number of current STRs to dwindle down to 800 from either people selling their property or no longer renewing their licenses. He says there’s currently around 1,200 on the island.
The vote will be certified on Thursday and will immediately take effect.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Familiar Charleston-area dining concept to replace Folly Beach restaurant after $5.1M sale
FOLLY BEACH — A longtime Charleston-area dining concept is on its way to the Edge of America at a prominent corner where numerous other restaurant venues have come and gone over the years.Perry Hospitality Group LLC is adding a second Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill to the island’s beachside culinary scene as its 11th dining venue in South Carolina.The restaurant operator on Feb. 9 paid $5.1 million for the two-story space currently occupied by Irish pub St. James Gate at Center Street and West Ashley Avenue, in the...
FOLLY BEACH — A longtime Charleston-area dining concept is on its way to the Edge of America at a prominent corner where numerous other restaurant venues have come and gone over the years.
Perry Hospitality Group LLC is adding a second Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill to the island’s beachside culinary scene as its 11th dining venue in South Carolina.
The restaurant operator on Feb. 9 paid $5.1 million for the two-story space currently occupied by Irish pub St. James Gate at Center Street and West Ashley Avenue, in the town’s commercial district about a block or so from the beach.
The property previously was owned by John Teevan through Stretford End LLC of Charleston, which bought the site for $2.175 million in 2020, according to land records.
St. James Gate, named for a section of the Irish capital of Dublin known for beer and breweries, has operated on the site since 2015.
The latest deal included the property and the restaurant business.
Teevan said he decided to sell after Perry Hospitality Group approached him with a proposition he believed was more than favorable.
“The other party made me a good offer,” Teevan said.
He noted the transaction occurred quickly and he hasn’t decided what his next move will be.
Perry Hospitality plans to move quickly to get the site ready in time for beach season.
“That corner is a great location,” said Perry Freeman, president. “There’s a ton of people and not a lot of places for people to go to eat. For a restaurateur, it’s the perfect location. I think we will do well in that spot.”
The property has been home to a number of dining venues over the past couple of decades. It once was a wine bar and restaurant called Eleven Center Street Wine and Gourmet followed by a seafood place named Conch.
Then came a country-cooking diner dubbed Center Street Kitchen and another seafood eatery called Folly Beach Shrimp Co. that included an upstairs dance club. For the past eight years, it’s operated as St. James Gate.
Since the beginning of the year, the roughly 8,000-square-foot venue has been closed for a previously scheduled mid-winter facelift. Freeman hopes to open the new Coconut Joe’s by April 1, “if all goes to plan,” he said.
During the next two months, Freeman and business partner Aaron Perry, plan to revamp the back patio area, which is now on the ground floor only. They want to add a second outdoor level.
“We are completely taking out what is there now and putting in two stories so there will be seating outside on the top and bottom,” Freeman said.
Once the new Coconut Joe’s opens, it will continue to operate with two indoor floors, but the second level will include a game room with arcade-type features.
“We want it to be more family-friendly,” Freeman said.
In addition to Coconut Joe’s on the Isle of Palms, which Perry Hospitality acquired in 2020, the restaurant group also owns Lawrence’s Seafood Co. next to Coconut Joe’s, The Shelter in Mount Pleasant and seven Charleston Sports Pub sites in the Lowcountry and Upstate.
A divided community: Folly Beach voters to decide short-term rental cap
FOLLY BEACH — In the beachfront community known as the “Edge of America,” many residents and property owners remain on edge as a vote approaches that could limit vacation rentals.A referendum is scheduled Feb. 7. While there are only two options on the ballot — to cap short-term rentals, or not — there are many sides to the impassioned debate.Along the streets weather-worn homes stand next to remodeled beach cottages and framework for new homes. Yards are lined with blue and white signs — eac...
FOLLY BEACH — In the beachfront community known as the “Edge of America,” many residents and property owners remain on edge as a vote approaches that could limit vacation rentals.
A referendum is scheduled Feb. 7. While there are only two options on the ballot — to cap short-term rentals, or not — there are many sides to the impassioned debate.
Along the streets weather-worn homes stand next to remodeled beach cottages and framework for new homes. Yards are lined with blue and white signs — each serving as a clear stance supporting or opposing a short-term rental cap that often varies from neighbor to neighbor.
The city prides itself as “Charleston’s Beach Town,” but some are second-guessing where to draw the line on overnight visitors. Much like Folly Beach’s new $14 million concrete-and-wood pier that was inspired by the original wooden one, the city is learning to balance its past and future. Residents are grappling with the reality that the very thing they love about their community is the same thing that attracts more than a million tourists a year, according to city officials.
Some see short-term rentals and the flow of transient guests staying in them as a threat to the established community and its longtime residents who don’t want new neighbors every week.
Should non-owner-occupied short-term rental licenses be capped at 800? It’s up to the city’s 1,886 registered voters to decide in what many call a defining moment for Folly Beach and how it manages come-and-go visitors.
The question of how to manage short-term rentals is not new. Property owners have had to apply for short-term rental licenses since 2018. There are currently over 1,100 active licenses.
A city committee was formed and provided recommendations to City Council on short-term rentals, but those recommendations were not followed up on. Some residents took their concerns to the City Council last summer. Feeling unheard, a group started a petition to create an ordinance that would establish a cap and distinguish owner-occupied and investor-owned short-term rentals. The ordinance failed in City Council and now is up for referendum vote, per state law.
Under the proposed ordinance, those with short-term rental licenses may continue to operate and keep their licenses until there’s a transfer to a new owner or family member.
No new short-term licenses would be granted until the number of active permits falls below 800 — a figure based on the number of pre-pandemic licenses in 2020. A waiting list would be established for future permits, but there are a lot of unanswered questions about further specifics or effects the limit would have.
A community divided
When Sam Meader and his wife moved to Folly Beach more than a decade ago, they started fixing up run-down cottages to rent. It was before the Airbnb era, so they’ve always had a hands-on approach in managing their rentals. They now own eight units near their home and manage several rental properties.
“Folly Beach has always been a beach vacation and retirement community, but this issue has polarized and pitted neighbor against neighbor,” Meader said. “Caps have come before the council multiple times, and each time they’ve said no. Last year, they passed wide-sweeping regulations and enforcement changes on short-term rentals. Why don’t we let that play out before we rush to cap it?”
On the other hand, resident Chris Bizzell believes Folly Beach has reached a “tipping point.”
“Right now, we’ve got a decent mix, but I think if we fail to act at this point it is going to become imbalanced,” Bizzell said. “It’s really a vote between what kind of community you want to live in. This is a first step. I can see this being amended down the road as the situation evolves, because it will change as the community evolves, too.”
Two advocate groups have been vocal about the vote. Folly United, led by Steve Goodwin, opposes the cap proposal. Save Folly’s Future, led by John McFarland, is pushing for the cap. Neither leader will vote on the matter, as they are nonresidents.
Both groups share concerns of preserving the future and personality of their beach community. They just disagree on how to do that.
Some have called it a cap, not just on short-term rentals, but on tourism.
McFarland, a West Ashley resident who has long-term rentals on Folly Beach, said he believes the sense of community in the barrier island city is at stake, and they should focus on attracting renters and residents who will live on the island as their primary residence.
“We are at a defining point,” McFarland said. “I think that citizens realize that if we don’t draw the line and say enough is enough, we will continue to lose that sense of community one lot at a time.”
McFarland said he and others worked hard to get the issue to a referendum vote so “every resident has an opportunity to voice their opinion.”
Goodwin, who is not related to the city’s mayor with the same last name, said he believes there are other ways to accomplish the same goal.
“A ‘no’ vote doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address the challenges the community is facing, but it means we can take our time and find better solutions,” he said.
Goodwin, a Daniel Island resident who also is a local property manager for iTrip Vacations, said the cap can hurt families in neighboring communities that have invested in a Folly Beach home as a vacation home or retirement investment paid for by short-term rental income.
“Short-term rentals provide an avenue for middle-class families to afford a property for their vacations, retirement and to pass on to family,” Goodwin said. “If you eliminate that option, you’re left with real estate that only the ultra-wealthy can afford.”
No vote for off-island property owners
Kate Rowland Peabody lives on Johns Island but has two short-term rental properties on Folly Beach.
“We own these properties and we visit often because we live so close,” she said. “We are part of this community, too. We care about this community, too. We have a stake in this as property owners, yet we don’t get the opportunity to vote?”
Michael Scarafile said that as a real estate agent for Carolina One Real Estate, property manager and short-term rental owner, the issue is not as clean-cut as it appears. He said he is cautious of an ordinance passing this way without more market research in place to inform the community of potential impacts.
“There are better ways to balance preserving Folly’s sense of community and protecting Folly property owners’ rights,” Scarafile said. “Each house is a story, a person. There are ways to regulate and enforce short-term rentals without capping them. Caps or bans address the symptoms of an issue, they do not solve the root cause.”
Scarafile and others have compared the situation to Sullivan’s Island, which banned short-term rentals more than two decades ago. While an all-out ban isn’t on the table for Folly Beach, he said restrictions of that nature not only divide communities but could bring unintended impacts on the housing market by changing the buyer pool.
What happens after the vote?
A “yes” vote signifies the voter supports enacting a cap on short-term rentals. A “no” vote means the voter does not agree with a cap.
Mayor Tim Goodwin said that if the referendum passes, the proposed ordinance becomes adopted as any other city ordinance would be if it had gone through City Council. If that happens, City Council does have the ability to challenge it or amend it at a later time.
“It’s binding in the fact that it creates an ordinance, but not binding in the fact that nobody could ever change it,” the mayor said.
Tim Goodwin said that managing visitor-related challenges is a delicate balancing act that cities across the state are each trying to figure out.
Legal challenges are possible no matter which way the vote goes. One lawsuit has already been filed.
A builder that operates five short-term rentals with two more being built sued the city over its pause of issuing short-term rental licenses. Michael Riffert with Folly East Indian Co. said in the suit that the moratorium does not comply with constitutional law, and that short-term rentals are a zoning issue which is exempt from the referendum process.
Folly Beach Baptist Church, located at 77 Center St. in Folly Beach, will be the only polling location. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.