Folly Beach considers banning chain restaurants, stores on the island


FOLLY BEACH (AP) - A beach town in South Carolina is considering an ordinance to prevent chain restaurants and stores from opening on the island.

Folly Beach is considering an ordinance to prevent any company with 10 or more locations with the same names, branding and products from locating in the town, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

Supporters say the rules would protect the unique character of the city about 10 miles south of Charleston with a population of about 2,700 people.

Mayor Tim Goodwin said local businesses want to make sure that corporate brands don't take over.

Lauren Gellaty with the nonprofit Lowcountry Local First said her group proposed the idea in February.

There are exceptions for an existing Subway restaurant and a grocery store shopping center that is in the city but not on the island.

The city banned drive-thru businesses years ago, Goodwin said.

There's been no opposition to the idea at public meetings, said Folly Zoning Administrator Aaron Pope.

Pope said large corporations could have a presence on the island, if they wish.

"Nothing would stop Starbucks from opening a 'Follybucks' with distinct products and uniforms," he said.

The city council has given preliminary approval to the idea, and a final vote on the rules is scheduled in November.

Sullivan's Island, 6 miles east of Charleston, is the only other South Carolina city or town with similar rules.