Southport residents comment on possible short-term rental regulations

Some residents still look forward to having tourists come to Southport as the weather warms and the summer season approaches
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 10:26 PM EDT
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SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) - The Southport Planning Board heard comments from the public Thursday evening at their monthly meeting. Almost all of the comments were in regards to possible regulations on short-term rental housing for tourists.

While some Southport natives — including those who rent out properties they own on a short-term basis — were opposed to any strict regulations, others say new rules are necessary.

“Unfortunately, the nature of tourists has changed,” said Southport resident Tracy Beaulieu.

Beaulieu says she understands her neighbors need ways to make money and that she wants tourists to visit the city. What she is not in favor of, however, is her unpleasant experiences that come with having different neighbors on a frequent basis.

“What I’ve experienced now with the people who have rented the houses near me is that they don’t care, they don’t show any respect,” said Beaulieu. “They trash and noise and kids running wild and doing things, and every few days there’s a new group of people.”

Those not in favor of strict housing regulations, like Southport resident Ambrey Miller, who also owns a short-term rental home, fear what could happen if rules are put in place.

“Unfortunately, if they shut the short-term rentals down then we’re going to see big business and big hotels move in behind us.”

At Thursday’s meeting, the planning board sent the zone text amendment that included a draft on short-term rental regulations back to committee, citing that the committee had been short-staffed due to a member leaving.

“I’m disappointed because I just really see this as not anything being resolved because of the town and all the realtors,” said Beaulieu.

Even though no new regulations were implemented as a result of Thursday’s meeting, some residents still look forward to having tourists come to Southport as the weather warms and the summer season approaches.

“We do a good job here taking care of our short-term rentals.” said Miller. “People that come here to visit us get to learn how a local lives around here.”

The Southport Planning Board meets on the third Thursday of every month.

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