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Old 04-20-2024, 09:37 AM   #1
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Do NOT visit City of Beaufort SC overnight.

Spending a night in an RV in the City of Beaufort, SC is a violation of the city ordinance and subject to a fine up to $1,000 per day.
I started a Boondocks site and it ran for 2 months with over 75% occupancy until the City heard about it and shut me down. I had to apologize to pending appointments and cancel their reservations.
It is a great destination for many reasons but no longer anywhere to stay in the city.

According to the helpful officer who shut me down, they are concerned about someone putting a dozen old RVs on a vacant site and renting them out, so they made all RV living illegal.

I'm in the process of seeing what I can do to get the ordinance amended to satisfy their paranoia. I'm working on a compromise plan making it illegal to live in an RV that has not moved off the property in 7 days.
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Old 04-20-2024, 11:06 AM   #2
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Spending a night in an RV in the City of Beaufort, SC is a violation of the city ordinance and subject to a fine up to $1,000 per day.
I started a Boondocks site and it ran for 2 months with over 75% occupancy until the City heard about it and shut me down. I had to apologize to pending appointments and cancel their reservations.
It is a great destination for many reasons but no longer anywhere to stay in the city.

According to the helpful officer who shut me down, they are concerned about someone putting a dozen old RVs on a vacant site and renting them out, so they made all RV living illegal.

I'm in the process of seeing what I can do to get the ordinance amended to satisfy their paranoia. I'm working on a compromise plan making it illegal to live in an RV that has not moved off the property in 7 days.

Actually, if I were living in that city I would agree with the ordinance. I also agree that some revision might make it more palatable for the citizens but if you have seen some of the "RV parks" in rural towns, they become a blight.

With an RV that has not moved of the property, you still may have a junk RV parked in one spot forever, and no one lives in it or maintains it.
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Old 04-20-2024, 11:09 AM   #3
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I suspect thereís more to this story than meets the eye. While anyone trying to start a legitimate RV park deserves support, opening a property to anyone to camp in their RV ó within a city ó is asking for problems. The assumption here is that there are no hookups (hence the boondocks description), or time limits? Standards for age or condition of rig? Business license? Are you zoned for a business?

Most, if not all, cities prohibit camping in RVs on private property except under very specific circumstances. Even so, take a look at the city streets with ramshackle RVs parked there as private homeless shelters. It can be a health issue (no hookups), noise issue, blight issue or even a crime issue depending on the clientele. A permitted RV park is monitored to protect neighbors and city residents, but letting folks stay on your property (or driveway or backyard) is a disaster waiting to happen with the wrong operator. That likely isnít you, but the laws apply to all.

Good luck with your fight against city hall, but methinks youíre going to have an uphill battle.
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Old 04-20-2024, 04:52 PM   #4
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X2 what Lucky Duck said. There's a lot of missing detail in the post.
Did they do their due diligence to find out legalities before they accepted $$ from perspective customers? Apparently not. Now people who made plans to go there are inconvenienced.
I lived in Beaufort for 8 years and it a beautiful quintessentially southern town. They welcome visitors that stay there legally. It's really not cool to post something so one sided.
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Old 04-20-2024, 06:34 PM   #5
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It is not a business.
As a host, I received no money from visitors.
Only one visitor at a time.
Stay is limited to 2 days.
RV has to be 100% self supporting. We provided no facilities although some hosts do.
RV parked in rear of property, not visible from street.
The system is run by Harvest Hosts with over 10,000 hosts throughout the country where members can stay free.
75% are wineries, farms, golf courses, breweries, distilleries, etc., that you can visit and the rest are just boondock camping sites.
We pay a membership fee and they control the bookings, publish the map showing sites, and provide insurance.
Host members do get a discount on annual fees.
Sorry if I offended people, I though RV owners would be more sympathetic to saving up to over $100 per night at commercial camps.
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Old 04-20-2024, 06:39 PM   #6
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I suspect thereís more to this story than meets the eye. While anyone trying to start a legitimate RV park deserves support, opening a property to anyone to camp in their RV ó within a city ó is asking for problems. The assumption here is that there are no hookups (hence the boondocks description), or time limits? Standards for age or condition of rig? Business license? Are you zoned for a business?
Boondockers Welcome is actually a website/organization where members offer others a place to park. It's been around for a few years.

https://www.boondockerswelcome.com/become-a-guest/
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:26 AM   #7
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There is or was a great Harvest Host site just north of Beaufort called Hwy 21, which is one of those long lost drive in movie outlets. You get great food in their concession stands to boot. There is a slight exception of the area has gotten hit with a lot of rain. But nice folks and worth the price of admission, free with access to dinner and a movie under the stars.
On the weekends we use to get two movies for the same price of admission. Is providing a link allowed?
https://hwy21drivein.com/

If you have kids and a pet, if you get there ealry you can let them stretch their legs in the open areas.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:24 AM   #8
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A city with it's own governing body seperate from county/state regulators? Did you check in with them before doing this?
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:09 AM   #9
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OP, I appreciate you opening your property for other's to use to camp. However, when you live in a city, they are able to establish rules. I'm sure there are specific concerns that have led them to prevent overnight stays within city limits.

Beaufort is a beautiful town. They likely want to keep it that way. Again, thank you for volunteering your land, but you need to cooperate with your local government.
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ann-Marie View Post
It is not a business.
As a host, I received no money from visitors.
Only one visitor at a time.
Stay is limited to 2 days.
RV has to be 100% self supporting. We provided no facilities although some hosts do.
RV parked in rear of property, not visible from street.
The system is run by Harvest Hosts with over 10,000 hosts throughout the country where members can stay free.
75% are wineries, farms, golf courses, breweries, distilleries, etc., that you can visit and the rest are just boondock camping sites.
We pay a membership fee and they control the bookings, publish the map showing sites, and provide insurance.
Host members do get a discount on annual fees.
Sorry if I offended people, I though RV owners would be more sympathetic to saving up to over $100 per night at commercial camps.
Iím familiar with Harvest Hosts. It may not be a business per se, but the ďhostsĒ are receiving a benefit by getting free access to other member sites, so itís not entirely altruistic. Itís a great idea for unincorporated areas where inviting a regular stream of strangers onto your property doesnít affect neighbors or public health/safety. But bashing your city for abiding by zoning and health laws in place to protect your property values and safety is unfair.

As RVers, Iím sure we all love to save $100 a night on commercial RV parks. But if the trade-off is my neighbor letting anyone park anything on wheels in their backyard next to me any day of the year, not so much. Ask someone who lives next to a legal Air BnB what just one bad visitor can do to your peace of mind. You may run a tight ship, but it only takes one.
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:39 AM   #11
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Spot on Lucky Duck !
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Old 04-21-2024, 04:07 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Ann-Marie;1158311]We pay a membership fee and they control the bookings, publish the map showing sites, and provide insurance.
Host members do get a discount on annual fees.[QUOTE]

Why not just pay the full membership fee and avoid the drama with the town and your neighbors?
Three free guesses as to how the town became aware of what you are doing and why they are now on your case. My town won't take enforcement action on anything except the most blatant zoning violations until a complaint is filed. Then they take action. (Well a little bit.)
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Old 04-21-2024, 04:39 PM   #13
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Here is what they are trying to avoid
https://nypost.com/2023/05/05/two-mile-homeless-camp-takes-over-in-californias-posh-marin-county/
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:38 PM   #14
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Here is what they are trying to avoid
https://nypost.com/2023/05/05/two-mi...-marin-county/

That might be a bit of a stretch but then again, if they let it go, well it can go down hill fast.
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:59 PM   #15
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That might be a bit of a stretch but then again, if they let it go, well it can go down hill fast.
But similar has been going on in California for years.

We were in San Diego in 2009 and motor homes were parked on the streets and in the parking lots along Shelter Island. They even had specific spaces designated for RV's, on the street and in the lots. It was also home to many very nice hotels. They had a limit on how long they could be there, but the next day the same ones were back.
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:19 PM   #16
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That might be a bit of a stretch but then again, if they let it go, well it can go down hill fast.
I agree. But the slippery slope begins innocently enough.
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:26 PM   #17
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The fear of turning the area into a homeless encampment and using some of the areas of Ca. as an example lacks a lot of related issues that's created what we are witnessing these days. The homeless encampments in Ca. are encouraged with incentives from the state and city leaders. Of course this is always denied.

But all one needs to do is to review back to when some of the worse areas were cleaned up for high profile world leaders to visit. then things went back to status quo. Then some of the leaders could again run on cleaning up the places , which happened but clean up never really happens. So we must not get that far off base.
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