City Council adopted the 2015 Comprehensive Plan in February 2016. The Planning Commission and City Staff have now begun implementation of the Plan. The goals identified in the plan are wide ranging and meant to be achieved over the next decade. As the City tackles each issue, updates will be made to this page to track the progress of the Plan implementation.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the Plan please call or email Aaron Pope at 843-276-5568 or email@example.com.
Goals and Implementation
10 Needs: Land Use 1; Economics 2; Natural Resources 7
1) Property in Folly Beach includes beach front, marsh and wetland environments, and historically important lands and structures which must be protected through sensitive development. (Land Use)
Goal: Eliminate existing encroachments on sensitive water fronts, marshes, wetlands, and riparian areas while encouraging environmentally sensitive development to protect the environments that define the beauty of Folly Beach.
Implementation: Vigorous enforcement of ordinances such as setbacks, sand dune disturbance, and impervious surfaces. Incorporate recognized Green Building Practices into the Folly Beach Building Code.
2) The City must develop and fund long term strategies to combat beach erosion including alternatives to renourishment in anticipation of the end of the current agreement with the Army Corp’s of Engineers. (Economics)
Goal: Research and evaluate alternatives to renourishment while implementing a systematic method of building beach preservation funds to assure the availability of the City’s portion of costs for future beach renourishments or alternative methods of erosion management.
Implementation: Budget so that funds will be available for potential renourishment projects taking place every six (6) years (or as needed) while also setting aside money for property acquisition. Work with the Sea Grant Consortium and other competent authorities to conduct a survey of current best practices for shoreline management and a review of current legal issues related to beach preservation.
3) The 2015 Economic Impact Study identified a need to further document and study the number and frequency of beach visitations. This information could be crucial when the city approaches the Army Corps of Engineers and other Federal and State officials to secure future funding. (Economics)
Goal: Develop and implement a city program to collect and analyze data to systematically estimate quarterly and annual beach visitations.
Implementation: Task the Folly Beach Tourism and Visitor Promotion Committee with devising a method to more accurately measure quarterly and annual beach visitation statistics.
4) Severe erosion and the structures built to combat erosion limit access to the beach. The City currently has limited policies in place to limit erosion control structures built behind the Baseline. Shore-parallel hard structures, such as sea walls, exacerbate beachfront erosion and inhibit natural dune building; thus, public access and critical turtle nesting access are both reduced. As a net result of seawall-induced beach erosion, a critical local and state economic generator is also reduced. (Natural Resources).
Goal: Reduce the effects of erosion by allowing the beach to migrate more naturally.
Implementation: Consider regulations regarding the rebuilding of seawalls that are damaged.
5) The City must protect the dune system from erosion and also development. The dunes are the first line of defense against erosion. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Prevent the destruction and degradation of the dune system to protect the integrity of the renourishment project.
Implementation: Create buffer zones on top of setbacks to require planting sea oats and/or sand fencing during development and redevelopment. Create a management plan for the dune areas.
6) Folly Beach is home to wildlife that needs to be protected from pressures related to development and increased crowding on the beaches and waterways. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Increase efforts wildlife.
Implementation: Enforce sea turtle lighting ordinances by working with lighting issues related to large oceanfront parcels such as the Tides and Oceanfront Villas. Develop an educational program to increase public awareness of wildlife issues. Create development standards that focus on maintaining natural habitat.
7) The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission owns very large parcels on either end of the island. The City should coordinate with the PRC to maximize protection of these parcels. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Increased coordination with CCRPC in managing and planning forCounty owned property in the City of Folly Beach.
Implementation: Meet with CCPRC to determine potential conflicts with existing Master Plans and Folly Beach Planning efforts. Work with CCPRC to implement its long range plan for the Coast Guard station to develop the property as a passive access, educational facility. Reassess the amount of yearly financial contribution from CCPRC to the City.
8) The City must engage more fully with the river and other sensitive areas to balance access with protection. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Increase access to the river for nonmotorized boating, and restrict waterfront development.
Implementation: Create buffer zones on top of setbacks to require planting vegetation during development and redevelopment. Create kayak accesses in the footprints of the old bridges.
9) The City’s tree regulations have been amended from over restrictive to perhaps overly permissive. A better balance must be found. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Protect trees on Folly Beach with concise, easily understandable, and complete standards.
Implementation: Planning Commission review of tree ordinance revisions to include reinstituting tree coverage regulations.
10) Undeveloped, environmentally sensitive lands in the marsh behind Folly Island are not protected from intense development. (Natural Resources)
Goal: Protect marsh islands from inappropriately intense development.
Implementation: Create a new lower density zoning classification for Long Island. Work with Charleston County to insure that marsh islands out of Folly’s jurisdiction are regulated.
12 Needs: Land Use 1; Economics 2; Transportation 2; Cultural Resources 2; Housing 3; Population 2
1) Ultra short term rentals (less than one week) are proliferating in the residential districts of the City. (Land Use)
Goal: Regulate business activities that may affect the livability of both commercial and residential areas and increase efforts to identify rentals operating outside of current requirements.
Implementation: Review ordinances for rentals and consider limiting and regulating this type of activity.
2) Folly Beach is a seasonal destination and revenue falls as the weather cools, negatively impacting local businesses. (Economics)
Goal: Make Folly Beach an attractive, year-round destination for residents, locals, and visitors.
Implementation: Add a seasonal component to the Folly Beach marketing program to specifically target off-season visitors based on year-round availability of activities, and creative off-season benefits, etc. Also add an off-season local marketing component in cooperation with Folly Association of Businesses to attract residents and nearby locals to patronize Folly Beach businesses.
3) There are currently no known metrics to measure the effectiveness of our local marketing program. (Economics)
Goal: Work with the TVPC to re-evaluate the current marketing program for Folly Beach and revise as needed to maximize positive returns. Consider concentrating marketing efforts regionally to increase off-season visitations and business.
Implementation: Work with marketing professionals and city stakeholders to develop metrics for analyzing the effectiveness of our current marketing program and determine appropriate improvements to attain the stated, desired goals.
4) Increased demand for parking has led to the proliferation of paid parking lots. These lots limit the amount of commercial land available for other uses and detract from the streetscape and neighborhood character. (Transportation)
Goal: Commercial parking lots should be regulated to minimize visual impacts, and the location of new commercial parking lots should be studied.
Implementation: Develop requirements such as buffers and other visual screening for commercial lots that are similar to the requirements for other commercial uses. Limit the location of new lots to the areas closest to Center Street.
5) Parking requirements in the zoning code for the Downtown Commercial district stifle growth and prevent changes in use because of lack of land for required parking. (Transportation)
Goal: Amend the ordinances for DC parking.
Implementation: Remove or lessen the requirement for businesses to provide parking in the DC District. Businesses in the district were historically not required to provide on street parking.
6) There are several sites of local, state, and national importance in the City that need to be preserved and protected, and could be marketed for tourism. (Cultural Resources)
Goal: The City should offer continual municipal support of preserving our historic landmarks and older commercial and residential structures that contribute to the history of Folly Beach.
Implementation: Consider using A-Tax funds or other sources to make annual financial commitments to local groups and organizations whose efforts are directed towards maintaining Folly landmarks.
7) There are very limited offerings for Folly Beach-related tours and tour operators. (Cultural Resources)
Goal: The City should continue support of existing tours (boat, kayak, etc) but also development tools for bike, walking, and vehicle tourism with special attention to offseason opportunities.
Implementation: Create a database of existing historic sites, scenic views, places of interest, trails, and other attractions. Place this information on a map/brochure that can be distributed online and to the public.
8) The wide variety of housing styles in the City is in danger of being lost as new development maximizes zoning allowances. (Housing)
Goal: New development should be encouraged to embrace a wider variety of architectural forms, elements, and materials. If possible, older structures should be referenced or incorporated into new buildings.
Implementation: Create incentives for the use of existing structures and vernacular design in new construction. Encourage owners of older homes to elevate vs. demolish. Develop and publish an inventory of typical forms, materials, and elements to be used as reference for new construction.
9) Affordable home prices and rents remain elusive. (Housing)
Goal: The City should examine its zoning ordinances and make changes needed to allow for the construction of units that could be sold or rented for a wider variety of price ranges.
Implementation: Allow auxiliary residential units, small houses or rooms attached or unattached to the main structures. These units would be restricted from being used for short term rental and subject to other conditions
10) Short term rentals are vital to the economy of Folly Beach, but sometimes create challenges for the community. (Housing)
Goal: The City should continue to actively address proper licensing of rentals and document short term rental issues by monitoring calls to Public Safety, SC DHEC, or other departments rentals to determine the impacts of these uses.
Implementation: Conduct an annual review of rental related issues. Develop a map of short term rentals. Place list of rental properties on the City webpage.
11) The City has a marketing program for tourists, but no similar program to attract future residents or businesses. (Population)
Goal: The TVPC is limited by law to only marketing for tourism. The City should take an active role in marketing itself to potential new residents and businesses.
Implementation: Develop a marketing brochure to post on the City’s website and distribute to rental agencies and units to promote the City as a residential choice.
12) The existing program for marketing to tourists primarily focuses on summer tourism which results in overburdening the City during the high season. (Population)
Goal: The TVPC should adjust its tourism marketing plan to attract visitors in the winter rather than during the crowded summer months.
Implementation: Enact the recommendations in the 2015 Strategic Communications Plan created by the Tourism and Visitor’s Promotion Committee.
16 Needs: Economics 2; Natural Resources 1; Transportation 3; Community Facilities 5; Cultural Resources 1; Housing 1; Population 3
1) It is vital that the distribution of accommodation tax fund be used for maximum benefit. (Economics)
Goal: Continue periodic reviews of local accommodations tax fund distribution to assure the maximum benefit for the City.
Implementation: Review the application process for city “A-tax” funds. Monitor the performance and evaluate the impact of distributed funds. Assure that “A-tax” funds are being used to support goals deemed important to the city and residents as outlined in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan.
2) The City has limited reserve funds for its long term needs. (Economics)
Goal: Assure that city permits, licenses, parking fees, and other sources of revenue are adequate to fund necessary city functions. Re-examine contributions from various revenue sources to assure that contributions meet or exceed the cost of required city services and allow for the city’s funding of its part of future matching grants.
Implementation: Review all sources of revenue to ensure that fees and charges are at competitive rates. Create and fund reserve accounts for items identified as priorities.
3) Water quality is threatened by lack of stormwater facility maintenance and construction. (Natural Resources)
Goal: To reduce potential and actual pollution of ground and surface water.
Implementation: Map all drainage facilities on the island, establish regular monitoring to ensure proper functioning, and improve existing drainage systems and components, and work with Charleston County and DOT to identify and construct new drainage infrastructure where needed.
4) There are only partial inventories of parking spaces island wide, and known parking spaces are not actively maintained. (Transportation)
Goal: Create a program to manage on street parking on the island.
Implementation: Inventory and define all parking spaces. Open existing spaces to facilitate parking, focusing on the first 3 blocks from Center Street and along Ashley and Arctic. Investigate the future use of paid on street parking in the right of way. Use Public Works to maintain ROW parking. Enforce DOT and City prohibitions against private no parking signs.
5) Commercial Parking lots are not adequately regulated in terms of attractiveness or efficiency. (Transportation)
Goal: Ensure that commercial parking lots are attractive, well maintained, and user friendly.
Implementation: Enact landscaping and screening ordinances for commercial parking lots. Monitor parking lots to remove encroachments into the right of way.
6) Traffic volumes on the island are increasing and creating dangerous situations for cyclists and pedestrians. (Transportation)
Goal: Improve traffic flow and make Folly safer for all users including cyclists and pedestrians.
Implementation: Pursue public transportation options through a partnership with CARTA, including a special route during festivals and other special events. Work with neighboring jurisdictions to implement the Folly Road Corridor Study. Create alternate pathways for pedestrians. Enhance road shoulders to allow for use by pedestrians. Study the conversion of Arctic Avenue to one lane. Explore financing options for sidewalks. Task Public Works with cleaning intersections for visibility. Pursue an island wide 25mph speed limit.
7) There is a need for an increase in the number and type of parks and other recreational facilities in the City The City wants to provide safe places for children to play, increase opportunities for walking by the water and other water based recreation, provide additional picnic areas, and create well maintained areas in which to exercise and relax. (Community Facilities)
Goal: Full implementation of the 5 Year Parks and Recreation Plan as well as maintenance and improvement of existing recreation facilities.
Implementation: Continue annual budget allocations for Parks and Recreation to build facilities described in 5 Year Plan. Review options for the provision of seasonal restroom facilities along the beachfront.
8) At present there is no updated map or inventory of the water and sewer infrastructure. There are vulnerabilities that need to be assessed as well as limited reserves for replacement. (Community Facilities)
Goal: Continued funding for future water/sewer system infrastructure replacement reserves. Locating, mapping, and evaluating the existing water/sewer lines.
Implementation: Make yearly contributions to appropriate reserve accounts for water and sewer. Work with Sea Grant Consortium on mapping infrastructure as part of an overall resiliency effort. Hire an outside engineering firm to assess the system and develop a depreciation schedule. Involve the Utilities Advisory Board with infrastructure planning.
9) Youth services are not widely advertised or coordinated with local nonprofits, agencies, and organizations. (Community Facilities)
Goal: Centralizing information about youth services and programs offered by the City as well as other public and private entities. This information is useful to both residents and visitors.
Implementation: Add a youth services page to City website.
10) There is a continuing need for opening and maintaining mid block rights of way. (Community Facilities)
Goal: Continued funding and implementation of the mid block rights of way program.
Implementation: Create an “adopt-a-right-of-way” program to encourage residents/businesses/non-profits to take responsibility for specific sections of the mid block easements. Continue to apply for Coastal Access Grants for ocean front mid block walkovers and beach accesses.
11) The island remains mostly dependent on onsite septic systems for waste management. (Community Facilities)
Goal: Coordination with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control regarding septic system monitoring and regulation.
Implementation: Consider ordinances to require regular pumping and inspections of septic tanks that service rental properties. Explore alternate strategies related to waste management to reduce reliance on septic systems.
12) There is no public collection, exhibition, or facility dedicated to Folly Beach’s history. (Cultural Resources)
Goal: The City should work to create a Folly Beach Museum or reading room.
Implementation: Start a central drop-off and collection center at City Hall or the Community Center to gather literature, memorabilia, etc. As the creation grows, task a City Hall intern with archiving and developing a plan for display.
13) Many residents and property owners are unclear on or unaware of the impacts of changes to federal legislation which result in increased insurance premiums for most property owners on Folly Beach. (Housing)
Goal: The City should increase communication with property owners about potential changes to flood insurance and wind and hail programs.
Implementation: Hold an annual town hall meeting or public work session devoted to insurance issues. A meeting summary should also be sent to out of town property owners.
14) The City must provide services to accommodate an increasing number of visitors as a result of population increases in the tri county region. (Population)
Goal: Provide adequate public safety and other services to handle daily, transient population levels.
Implementation: Create a database of calls to Public Safety to track seasonal increases in volume. This database can be used to justify funding levels as well as the adjustment of services such as beach and parking patrols.
15) The City does not offer a wide variety of government sponsored/provided social and recreational programming. (Population)
Goal: Partner with outside agencies to promote programming available through other local governments, non-profits, and social organizations.
Implementation: Dedicate space on the City’s website for a centralized database of local programs and activities.
16) The City has no regular process for communicating important issues to nonresident property owners. (Population)
Goal: Increased dialogue between the City and out of town property owners.
Implementation: Conduct at least one annual outreach, such as the State of the City, to property owners.