Photo by Rūta Smith

Folly Beach residents narrowly voted yesterday to cap the number of local short-term rental operations to 800 across the island, ending a months-long discussion in one of the state’s most popular beach communities. 

The decision limits the number of rentals, such as condos and Airbnbs that can operate in Folly Beach, an issue stemming back to October after citizen petitions were brought to the city council.

More than 1,200 people voted, about half of the registered voters on the island. The special citizen vote tallied 53% (655 voters) in favor of the cap and 577 against it, a difference of just 78 votes. 

Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin said it will take several years for the number of current short-term rentals to dwindle to the 800 cap. Currently, about 1,200 rentals operate across the island. 

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