February 6th Watchdog Report


Your Board of Directors approved position statements on four issues that relate to several public policy issues in the Western Upstate:

  • Short-Term Rentals
  • Moratoriums
  • Zoning
  • Real Estate Signs

Three of them will help your Grassroots Government Affairs Team advocate for REALTOR® interests right away.

Short-Term Rentals: Anderson County Council and Walhalla City Council both have discussed short-term rental legislation recently.  Seneca City Council adopted a short-term rental ordinance that prohibited short-term rentals in certain residential areas of the city.  The ordinance was successfully challenged by a REALTOR® with the support of the South Carolina Association of REALTORS®.  SCR included statewide short-term rental legislation on their 2023 REALTOR® Advocacy Agenda.

Moratoriums: Moratoriums are a crude regulatory tool that denies property owners the right to due process.  Your Board of Directors opposes moratoriums except in certain situations outlined in our Moratorium Position Statement.  Last year, Pickens County imposed a moratorium on development on Highway 11 while they worked on an ordinance restricting development along the corridor in the county.  It lasted more than six months.  Twice this month Pickens County Council has discussed a countywide six-month moratorium while they rewrite their Unified Development Standards Ordinance.  Just one section of the UDSO, which has 16 sections, is three times longer than the Highway 11 Ordinance.  Your advocacy team is concerned about a countywide moratorium lasting for more than a year.

Zoning: The key issue in Pickens County is zoning, or lack thereof.  Anderson and Oconee counties have significant unzoned areas as well.  The Board of Directors position is neutral on zoning, but cautions local governments that if their mission is to regulate land use density and intensity of use, zoning is the proper tool.  You can read the position statement on zoning by clicking here.

Signs: Overly restrictive sign ordinances are generally a problem of the past since the US Supreme Court affirmed in Reed v. Gilbert that signs are protected speech.  But just this month the Town of Simpsonville proposed amendments to their sign ordinance, and a few years ago Anderson County confiscated and destroyed hundreds of real estate signs.  Our position statement on signs will help us educate government officials and advocate for sign regulations that promote a healthy and active real estate market.

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs