CITY COUNCIL ASKS DEVELOPER TO LIMIT PRIMARY HOMEOWNER PURCHASES – COUNCIL KNOWS PRIMARY HOMEOWNERS VOTE
The city’s concerns became clearer, however, when City Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat asked for assurances that these secondary homes would not be occupied by annual rentals. She stated the city would prefer daily and weekly rentals above any annual rentals. In short, annual renters vote.
LStar Management, the owner of Grande Dunes Golf Resort, met with Myrtle Beach City Council and Mayor John Rhodes this week in a workshop communicating its plan to build hundreds of new homes on the undeveloped tract of land between the Intracoastal Waterway, U.S. 17, Robert M. Grissom Parkway and the marina north of 82nd Parkway. These new homes are all being built inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach.
“It’s a very rare opportunity, and I would tell you it’s one that our firm is more excited about than perhaps any other project we have, due to that broad expanse of undeveloped land,” LStar’s Chief Operating Officer Hampton Pitts told city council.
As our readers can hear in the video of that meeting above, the city’s key concern was how many of the units would be occupied by primary homeowners versus secondary home buyers who live out of state. Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat, City Councilman Wayne Gray, and Mayor John Rhodes each grilled LStar stating that they would prefer second home owners in that neighborhood above and beyond primary residents. Each postured the matter as a cost issue. Since residents pay for water, utilities, and trash collection monthly, the added cost for city government centered around what a primary resident would add to the “supposed” cost of fire and police patrol.
Mayor Rhodes asked LStar, “What percentage of these homeowners are 4 percenters versus 6 pecenters?” As Myrtle Beach charges tourists a tax, of which a tax credit is given to local primary residents, the difference between what a primary resident pays in home taxes versus what a secondary resident pays for the same property in taxes can be as much as $3500 annually. To the dismay of Mayor Rhodes, LSTAR commented that 70% of current buyers were primary homeowners.
Residents we spoke with asked us how the police costs for a primary resident could possibly increase more than incrementally above those of homes occupied by daily and weekly renters. Many said that primary residents in high end neighborhoods, like Grande Dunes, would actually lower costs above and beyond visitors who have no investments in those neighborhoods.