Sanford seeking zoning variance

Jenny Sanford

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND -- Former first lady

Jenny Sanford is asking town officials for a zoning variance to expand the size of her beach-facing porch.

At the same time, she wants to keep available her home's status as a vacation rental, something that could be jeopardized by any sort of add-on.

Under provisions of the island's rental ordinance, houses can lose their rental license if they are enlarged by any degree.

The approval Sanford is seeking includes a request for filling an area between an existing screen porch and another wing of the house with a covered deck.

Sanford said her intent is to not increase the house's rental density, but to add a home improvement. The add-on would enlarge the habitable area, but there would be no change in size to the heated square footage, her variance application said.

The subject of rental properties on Sullivan's Island has been controversial in recent years. The town put a cap on all new vacation rental licenses in 2000 and grandfathered the 100 or so that existed at the time.

Residents were concerned about the expanse of groups and extended families filling up rental property.

In a letter to the town's Board of Zoning Appeals, Sanford said the house is rented during the summer for about two weeks "in order to continue my short rental license."

"I now live on the island full time," she also said, "and want to improve the home in order to make it more comfortable for me now."

Her request goes to the town's Board of Zoning Appeals tonight at 7 at Town Hall.

Sanford moved permanently to the family's Atlantic Avenue home last year in the fallout from Gov. Mark Sanford's admitted affair. Their divorce became final last month.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551, or skropf@postandcourier.com.