Estate Planning Attorney inIsle of Palms, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Isle of Palms, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Isle of Palms that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Isle of Palms, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Isle Of Palms, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Isle of Palms, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Isle of Palms, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Isle Of Palms, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Isle Of Palms, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Isle of Palms, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Isle of Palms, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Isle Of Palms, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Isle Of Palms, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Isle of Palms, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

Latest News in Isle of Palms, SC

Court battle over homeowner’s seawall on the Isle of Palms escalates

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) — A court hearing has been rescheduled in the ongoing conflict between state health officials and an Isle of Palms homeowner.In February, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) and petition for injunctive relief in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court against Rom Reddy, the proper...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) — A court hearing has been rescheduled in the ongoing conflict between state health officials and an Isle of Palms homeowner.

In February, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) and petition for injunctive relief in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court against Rom Reddy, the property owner on the Isle of Palms who built a wall to protect his property from beach erosion.

DHEC claims the structure is in a critical area and issued Reddy cease-and-desist directives related to the structure. In its Administrative Law Court filing, attorneys for the state agency say Reddy disregarded the directives, and DHEC “has no adequate remedy at law other than to seek judicial intervention to compel the Respondents to immediately cease their unauthorized actions in the critical area.”

In response, Reddy’s attorneys requested the judge deny the motion for a TRO and petition for injunctive relief. They claim Reddy’s structure is not in a critical area and is outside the state’s jurisdiction. Additionally, they say the wall was necessary because of a failure from DHEC and the city of Isle of Palms to protect the beach/dune system and renourish the beaches.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Thursday, April 18; however, on April 11, DHEC filed a motion for continuance to push back the hearing “due to its extremely heavy workload and to allow the parties adequate time to prepare for the trial and conduct full discovery.”

Chief Administrative Law Judge, Ralph Anderson, granted that motion on Tuesday, April 16.

In their response to DHEC’s initial court filing, Reddy’s team also requested that the case be removed and handled in circuit court by jury trial, rather than Administrative Law Court. On March 26, Judge Anderson denied that motion. Reddy’s attorneys then filed a separate lawsuit against DHEC and the city of Isle of Palms in Charleston County Circuit Court on March 29.

Additionally, Judge Anderson granted a motion from the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League to intervene in the case, which will allow the group to provide its own arguments against Reddy. Judge Anderson, however, noted their intervention is “limited to the presentation of arguments that are different and unique compared to the Department’s [DHEC] arguments in this case.

The new Administrative Law Court hearing has been rescheduled to Monday, Aug. 12.

Isle of Palms seawall legal battle escalates: Coastal Conservation League joins lawsuit

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — The legal battle over a sea wall on the Isle of Palms continues.A judge has granted the Coastal Conservation League’s motion to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit between the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and a homeowner. The hearing was originally scheduled for April 18 but has been pushed back until August.Both agencies want the structure permanently removed, but the Coastal Conservation League explains the two agencies have separate arguments.“I thin...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — The legal battle over a sea wall on the Isle of Palms continues.

A judge has granted the Coastal Conservation League’s motion to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit between the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and a homeowner. The hearing was originally scheduled for April 18 but has been pushed back until August.

Both agencies want the structure permanently removed, but the Coastal Conservation League explains the two agencies have separate arguments.

“I think it's DHEC’s job to argue with the laws are in South Carolina; those are the laws they're charged with implementing and enforcing in circumstances like these. Whereas I think it's the league's job in this scenario to argue about the potential impacts or consequences of something like a structure that is in conflict with those laws,” said Emily Cedzo, the league’s director of conservation programs and policy.

READ MORE: "Unauthorized seawall on Isle of Palms sparks DHEC intervention."

Cedzo said these consequences impact all users of our beaches.

The Coastal Conservation League argues that while a structure like a sea wall is made to protect what’s behind it from erosion, it worsens erosion on the ocean side. They fear over time it will eat away at the beach altogether.

“It's making public access incredibly difficult, particularly at high tide. Which also not only makes it difficult for you and I to walk the beach but certainly for wildlife to forage, for sea turtles to nest when they're in season,” Cedzo said.

She said the league worked with the state’s real estate commission last year to better educate beachfront homeowners about the possible risks where they live.

READ MORE: "Coastal Conservation League joins battle over Isle of Palms seawall conflict."

“I think that's imperative that when people first walk into these transactions and buy properties on the beach, they understand the vulnerability of those properties. The fact that beaches can be erosional, you might have these sorts of issues pop up.”

A temporary emergency city ordinance allowing sea walls in a designated area of the Isle of Palms is set to expire on April 19.

In its meeting on April 23, the city council will vote to either extend it or let it expire.

Isle of Palms voters to decide on new short-term rental limits

ISLE OF PALMS — A bumper crop of yard signs has sprouted across this barrier island as voters prepare for a referendum Nov. 7 that could limit short-term rental licenses.It's the latest skirmish in a much broader fight over the future of these sorts of vacation usages that's been playing out across South Carolina.“If nothing else, we are keeping the sign business afloat," said Mayor Phillip Pounds.Isle of Palms is among the communities on the frontlines — all places where high demand from vacatione...

ISLE OF PALMS — A bumper crop of yard signs has sprouted across this barrier island as voters prepare for a referendum Nov. 7 that could limit short-term rental licenses.

It's the latest skirmish in a much broader fight over the future of these sorts of vacation usages that's been playing out across South Carolina.

“If nothing else, we are keeping the sign business afloat," said Mayor Phillip Pounds.

Isle of Palms is among the communities on the frontlines — all places where high demand from vacationers fuels the short-term rental business. Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Beaufort limit such rentals; Sullivan's Island prohibits them; Myrtle Beach doesn't allow new ones in residential neighborhoods.

The Isle of Palms referendum calls for imposing a 1,600 cap on short-term rental licenses for investors and second-home owners. There would continue to be no cap for homes that are the owners' primary residence.

It's about preserving the island's quality of life, say supporters. More than 30 percent of the city's registered voters signed a petition to get the referendum on the ballot.

“We have a growing number of short-term rental licenses in residential communities," said Randy Bell, a former councilman working with pro-referendum group Preserve Isle of Palms Now. "We are trying to maintain the one-third, one-third, one-third split between full-time residents, second homes and rental properties."

Opponents say it's really about property rights and property values. An investment property or second home could be harder to sell, and worth less, if there's no certainty it could be used for short-term rentals.

“What are we trying to solve?" said Hugh Swingle, an island resident whose family business is Palm Blvd Vacation Rentals. "We just don’t see that there’s an actual problem.”

The city had issued 1,625 licenses to property owners who are not full-time residents as of early October, and if the referendum were to pass, no new ones would be available until the number drops below 1,600.

"Obviously, we don't think it's good," said Ryan Buckhannon, president of the Isle of Palms Chamber of Commerce. He's a former councilman who owns an investment property licensed for short-term rentals.

Supporters and detractors of the referendum have set up websites, put out yard signs and sent mailings.

Isle of Palms United opposes the cap and claims on its website, iopunited.com, that taxes "have to" go up and property values will go down if the referendum were to pass. That group and others claim property values plunged 25 to 30 percent on Folly Beach after a February voter referendum capped short-term licenses there at 800.

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors data gives reason to question such claims. According to CTAR data, the median price of a house sold on Folly Beach in 2023 through September was down 14.9 percent, but the median price of a condo or townhouse sold there was up 28.2 percent.

“There’s no basis for the claim that property values will plummet by 40 percent," said Bell.

Swingle, who is affiliated with Isle of Palms United, said a cap could be a big problem for people who want to sell a property in the years ahead.

“If there were a cap in place, and you own one of those tiny condos and you went to sell it, you could have a really hard time without a (short-term rental) license," he said.

Swingle expects the vote to be close.

Preserve Isle of Palms Now supports the referendum, which the group says on preserveiop.org is about keeping the island a great place to live and preserving its residential nature by not allowing unlimited short-term rentals.

"IOP residents are either already experiencing or can foresee future problems with water and sewer capacity, traffic & parking congestion, environmental impacts, and the availability of long-term rental housing," the group's website says.

The Palm Republic, an organization created by former Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll and current Councilman Blair Hahn, has also created programming opposing the referendum. Hahn even alleged in a YouTube video that referendum supporters have talked about driving down property values in order to get deals on real estate.

News

The island has long been known as a place to rent a house or condo at the beach, or to have a second home that could be rented out for much of the year.

Full-time residents own about a third of the homes, and they can rent out those homes for up to 72 days each year if they have a short-term rental license. As of early October, 184 owner-occupied homes on Isle of Palms had short-term rental licenses.

“It’s a vacation spot, and has always been a rental community, to some extent," said Pounds, the mayor, who declined to say how he will vote. "We have 1,400 condos, give or take."

That's a lot on an island with about 4,400 residents. Most of those condos are in Wild Dunes or former hotels in the commercial area along the beachfront, and most are for rent. Many single-family homes across the island are also licensed for short-term renters.

While full-time residents are the minority of property owners on the island, they are the only people who can vote.

The referendum is on the ballot because of a petition signed by 1,173 of the city's 3,740 registered voters. That petition put a short-term rental ordinance before City Council, and after the council declined to pass that ordinance in July, it became a ballot referendum.

If the referendum were to pass, the ordinance would take effect.

The Isle of Palms yes/no referendum question is: "Shall the City of Isle of Palms limit the investment short term rental business licenses to a maximum of 1,600?"

Across the marsh in neighboring Mount Pleasant, which has more than 94,000 residents, just 400 short-term rental permits are allowed.

Supporters of short-term rentals hope state lawmakers will act to prohibit and invalidate any local restrictions in 2024. A measure aimed at limiting local governments' ability to restrain short-term rentals failed earlier this year.

Palmetto Politics

Folly Beach earlier this year imposed a short-term rental cap following a referendum. Folly Beach has fewer than half as many residences as Isle of Palms, and the town now has an 800-license limit on short-term rentals.

Isle of Palms would have 1,600, plus as many licenses as full-time residents want for their homes, if the referendum were to pass. Residents will also choose four City Council members in the election, from eight candidates.

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Email

Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

New waterfront park coming to Isle of Palms this year

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council in 2020 voted to make additions to the marina area of the island and that project is officially slated to be completed this year.The project included the addition of a public dock, a boardwalk and a waterfront park and greenspace. The boardwalk and public dock have been completed, and, as of Jan. 11, the construction contract for the waterfront park and greenspace was officially confirmed.The waterfront park will cover the 300 by 25 foot wide area along the marina faci...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council in 2020 voted to make additions to the marina area of the island and that project is officially slated to be completed this year.

The project included the addition of a public dock, a boardwalk and a waterfront park and greenspace. The boardwalk and public dock have been completed, and, as of Jan. 11, the construction contract for the waterfront park and greenspace was officially confirmed.

The waterfront park will cover the 300 by 25 foot wide area along the marina facing the Intracoastal Waterway. There will be a 6-foot wide concrete walkway. The park will include a large lawn area with lush planting.

They plan to include a series of benches along the waterfront walkway so residents can enjoy views of the water and boating activities. There are plans for a circular seat wall near the public dock that would create an entrance to the dock area.

They plan to include a kayak storage area and a kayak launch area. There will be golf cart parking available as well as bicycle parking areas.

All of these plans did require collaboration and participation from the marina manager and restaurant tenants. Scott Toole, the general manager of the Outpost, a nearby restaurant, says he is very excited for this addition to the area.

“I think that it’s an added benefit to the island, to the residents, everybody, to have a space and to use the dock. Kayak launching is a big thing that I think people will take advantage of.” he says. “It’s really going to help make this area kind of a place of interest for people, sort of a destination so to speak, for people to be able to get some food, get some drink, watch the water and use the dock that’s right there.”

Toole says they very recently renovated the Outpost and he’s excited to see this new project bring more people to the area. He says he feels like this area of Isle of Palms is often overlooked as it is a little ways away from the main beach.

“We’ve kind of joked that it’s a small corner of the island and so, anything that’s bringing people down this direction is good for everybody. We’re excited to see this project take place,” he says.

The project is currently slated to be completed by May of this year. To provide City Council your input on this project you can click here.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Isle of Palms noise ordinance up for discussion after questions from businesses

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes could be coming to the noise ordinance on Isle of Palms as city leaders hope to make the rules more clear.The city’s noise ordinance currently doesn’t list specific limits. A proposal would establish set decibel levels based on the time and day of the week as well as the area:Isle of Palms business owners got the chance to see the numbers and ask questions on Friday.“We want them to understand that they have a voice, we want to hear from them,” Police Chief...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes could be coming to the noise ordinance on Isle of Palms as city leaders hope to make the rules more clear.

The city’s noise ordinance currently doesn’t list specific limits. A proposal would establish set decibel levels based on the time and day of the week as well as the area:

Isle of Palms business owners got the chance to see the numbers and ask questions on Friday.

“We want them to understand that they have a voice, we want to hear from them,” Police Chief Kevin Cornett said. “Anything that is going to impact businesses we want them to be able to come to us and say what they think about it.”

One area resident, who only identified himself as Paul, says the noise ordinance needs to have a balance.

“Obviously, late at night you don’t want people making a lot of noise walking up and down the streets while residents are trying to go to bed, but at the same time this is a vacation spot, so you have to have a little bit on leeway for people to enjoy themselves but also be respectful,” he said.

Cornett says they’re working to find a solution that will work for businesses and residents and increase livability for everyone.

Cornette says noise is a hot topic on the island and he values feedback on this from both residents and business owners.

“Everybody is very much invested in this conversation,” Cornett said. “The city council is taking it very seriously and they are going around and talking to people to get their input. So, I think they are doing a great job on making sure voices are heard so that when we get the final project it’s fair and something that will work for everybody.”

Officers use a calibrated decibel reader when called out to a noise complaint.

“That’s how we determine if it’s a violation and then we would take other factors into account like background noise to keep the realistic approach to is as well,” Cornett said.

The public safety committee has to create a final draft before it will head to the city council for two separate readings.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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