Construction within the Town may involve several different areas of regulation, depending on the nature and scope of construction. In addition to the International Residential Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, Fire codes and 2015 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, the Town enforces a Zoning, subdivision, and a Code of General Ordinances. Before commencing any construction or remodeling, a Building Permit must be obtained from the Town. A Zoning certificate may also be required for any change in use, even if no Building Permit is required.

Requirements for a Building Permit

Construction Board of Appeals Application

Contractor Letter of Authorization

Current List of Codes Adopted and Enforced by TOEB

Request for Permit Extension

Required Documents for a Building Permit

Building Permit Application

Subcontractors Listing

Non-Commercial Personal Use Affidavit

Non-Conversion Agreement

V Zone Design Certificate

V Zone Breakaway Wall Certificate

Manual J- New Construction

Manual J Review Form- New Construction

Height Certificate

Owner Builder Disclosure

Owner Builder Subcontractor List

SC DHEC Beachfront Notification Form 

Pool Fencing Affidavit

Property Owner Letter of Authorization

Temporary Tent Permit Requirements

Tree Removal Application

Scope of Work for Alterations, Repairs & Additions 

Special Inspection Packet

Handrail Grip Size

2015 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code

Chapter 14- Buildings and Building Regulations

Chapter 86- Zoning

Substantial Improvement Forms

Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance - Town ordinance Section 14





 Regulations for New Beachfront Development:

The purpose of these regulations are to protect the threatened and endangered sea turtles that nest along the beaches of the town by safeguarding the adult female turtle laying her eggs and the hatchlings from sources of artificial light that cause disorientation and subsequent death. It is the policy of the town that no artificial light shall illuminate any area of the beaches of the town during the period of May 1 through October 31 of each year from dusk to dawn.  

No building permit for construction of single-family or multifamily dwellings, commercial or other structures, parking areas, dune walkovers, or other project requiring lighting which can be seen from the beach, shall be issued, unless the electrical plans for such improvements comply with the following:

(1)   Floodlights and wall-mounted light fixtures shall be fitted with hoods so that no light illuminates the beach;

(2)   Low-profile luminaries shall be used in parking areas; such lighting shall be positioned so that no  light  illuminates the beach and such lights shall be bug lights of no greater than 50 watts;

(3)   Dune walkovers shall utilize low-profile shielded luminaries. They shall be activated by a motion sensor for a maximum period of five minutes.

(4)   Lights on balconies, porches, decks and beneath structures shall be shielded so that they will not illuminate the beach.

(5)   Window treatments in windows facing the beach shall be used so that interior lights do not illuminate the beach. The use of draperies, screens or blinds are required so as to shield the beach from lights. 

Ordinance Chapter 10- Sec.10-63 


State Beachfront Jurisdictional Lines

In accordance with Section 48-39-280(C) of the Coastal Zone Management Act, the following state beachfront jurisdictional lines have been adopted during the 2008-2010 revision cycle.

Modification  or Repair of Flood Prone Property:

If your home or business sustained damage, or if you are making improvements to the structure's exterior and/or interior, your community has Flood Damage Prevention Regulations that many affect how you rebuild or make improvements. These laws are required by the National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance to be made available to community residents and property owners. Save yourself time, aggravation and money by reading the following information...

   Notice to Homeowners of Flood Prone Properties


Licensing Laws for Contractors:

The general Statutes require that certain kinds of work be performed only by licensed individuals; check with the building department to ensure that you are in compliance with state law on contracting for general contractors, electrical/HVAC contractors, and plumbing contractors.

In addition, different classes (residential and commercial) and limitations (limited, intermediate, and unlimited) of licenses are required, based on the type and the cost of construction. A Town business license is required of all contractors.

If you are a licensed general, plumbing, or electrical contractor, you may not subcontract the work to unlicensed individuals. Employees of licensed contractors may actually do the work, so long as they are under the responsible supervision of the licensed individual and are actually on his payroll; it is illegal to use a license to permit an unlicensed individual to obtain a building permit, or to perform work which requires a license class higher than your own, or to falsify information about the cost of a job in order to avoid the intent of this law.



All inspections will be made by the town building officials. The general contractor is required to call for the proper inspections as work progresses. The building permit must be posted in a visible location from the street so that the inspector may initial and date this form after every inspection. Every attempt will be made to make inspections promptly but a minimum of 24 hours notice should be given for inspection requests.

No certificate of occupancy may be issued until final inspection has been made. The building may not be occupied, nor personal belongings delivered, until a C.O. has been issued by the town.  



The town enforces a Zoning Ordinance Chapter 86 which regulates residential and commercial activities, including the displaying of signs (see below). Copies of both the zoning ordinance and the zoning map are available at the town hall.

Changing a building to a "higher intensity" use (such as office to retail, or retail to restaurant) may necessitate additional parking, public rest rooms, or handicapped accessibility.

The latest zoning map can be found here.


No sign may be displayed in the Town of Edisto Beach without the issuance of a sign permit. The size, height, and location of signs are regulated by the zoning ordinance, and depend on the zoning district in which the business is located.

New businesses are urged to complete a sign permit application before their signs are made, in order to avoid costly mistakes, as many types of signs such as flags, neon signs, and certain types of illuminated signs are prohibited entirely.

"A" Frame or "Sandwich Board" sign information and applications can be downloaded by clicking here.

Fees associated with the usage of signs in the town can be found in our sign ordinance.


Business Licenses

A business license is required for most businesses in the town including rental properties ( both short and long term). License fees vary according to the type of business. State Law requires that business licenses be based on gross receipts. Business Licenses Chapter 18

For more information, please see our business classifications and rate schedule pages. Please note that if your business is not located within the 29438 zip code you are considered a non-resident and business license fees are doubled.

You may download a Business License Application or a Rental Business License Application 

Licenses are issued for one year, from May 1st to April 30th.  New Businesses should also contact the SC Department of Revenue for state business requirements.

Renewal notices are mailed out in late February.  Payments are due by May 31st of each year.  Penalties are assessed at 10% per month after this date. 

If you have any questions concerning business licensing please contact Patrick Brown

or call 843-869-2505  ext 205.



FEMA Technical Bulletins for Building in a Flood Hazard Area

FEMA Technical Bulletins provide guidance concerning the building performance standards of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which are contained in Title 44 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at Section 60.3. The bulletins are intended for use primarily by state and local officials responsible for in­terpreting and enforcing NFIP regulations and by members of the development community, such as design professionals and builders. The bulletins do not create regulations, rather they provide specific guidance for complying with the minimum requirements of existing NFIP regulations.

Breakaway Walls

Elevator Installation


Flood Resistant Material Requirements

Metal Roofing

Non-Residential Floodproofing 

Underlayment for Shingles

Shutter Alternatives

Free of Obstruction Requirements 





The Town is participating in a Community Rating System (CRS) project in an effort to obtain better flood insurance rates for all properties located within the town limits.  One requirement of this participation is for Town government to publish annually certain information pertinent to the local flood hazard, the availability of flood insurance, and/or flood protection methods. 

If you own property in the Town of Edisto Beach, you will experience flooding during a hurricane.  This is to inform residents and owners of flood hazards and suggested actions that may be taken to protect people and property before and after a storm. 

History: Edisto Beach is a coastal town.  Unfortunately, living along the coast has risks by way of flooding that is hazardous to property and life.  The following major flood producing storms have affected Edisto Beach in the past 100 years or so.  An unnamed storm in 1893 with a tide of 17.0 to 19.5 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL), Hurricane of 1940 with a tide surge of 14.2 feet MSL, Hurricane Hazel in 1954 caused minimal damage, Hurricane Gracie in 1959 with a tide surge of 11.9 feet MSL.  Hurricane Hugo in 1989 caused minimal damage.  The chances of hurricanes and tropical storms are most prevalent from June 1st through November 30th.  August and September are the most active months for tropical storm activity. Winter and spring storms bring high winds and waves that cause flooding and coastal erosion.

The local flood hazard: Edisto Beach is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  Whether you are in an "A" Zone or a High Hazard "V" Zone, it is in the SFHA and subject to flooding.  A detailed flood map is on file at Town Hall that identifies the flood plain and is also available by clicking the following link Adopted Preliminary Map as of March 9th, 2017.  Edisto Beach is subject to flooding during the following:  hurricanes, heavy storms or extreme high tides particularly for properties close to the oceanfront.  If you need assistance determining which flood zone your property is located, please contact Town Hall with the Lot and Block number or Street Address for a free map determination. The Town Building Department maintains elevation certificates on many structures locating within the Town limits.

The flood warning system: Emergency Messages are broadcast via Cable Channel 2 upon any flood-threatening emergency.  The radio station to tune to for Edisto Beach and Colleton County is WALLY (93.7 FM).  Should an evacuation be advised, local officials will notify you through these medium plus through activation of the Municipal Operations Center and disseminate an evacuation notice door to door with bulletins which denote "What to Do", "When to Do it", and "Where to Go".  Evacuation routes will be clearly marked with signs and evacuees will be directed to shelters by law enforcement at traffic control intersections.  The local contact phone number is (843) 869-2505.  Please call in reference to evacuation notices, procedures and shelters.

Flood safety: If evacuating, take with you:  important papers, prescription medicines, glasses, first aid kit, non-perishable food, blankets and pillows, flashlights and extra batteries, portable radio and extra batteries, a change of clothes, toiletry items, books, magazines, games, etc.  On leaving, shut off electricity at the breaker terminal, and gas system at outside source.  Lock all doors and windows.  Fill you car's fuel tank and make preparations when a Hurricane Watch is issued or you are otherwise advised, in case a quick evacuation should be necessary.  Leave early, in daylight if possible.  Drive carefully, using recommended evacuation routes.  Take extra precaution if you are told to leave at night.  Night darkness hides flooded roadways.

Flood insurance:  Your homeowner's insurance policy will not cover losses due to flooding.  Edisto Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program which makes flood insurance available to everyone in the town.  Information about flood insurance can be obtained from your insurance agent.  Property owners can insure their buildings and contents and renters can insure their possessions.  Just because your house has not flooded in the recent past does not mean that you are safe.  There is a thirty (30) day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so you should call your agent now.  Owners subject to repetitive losses may seek financial assistance through FEMA’s “Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage”.  Information on this ICC program is available at Town Hall.  Flood Insurance policyholders high-risk areas can get up to $20,000 to help pay the costs to bring their home or business into compliance with the Town’s floodplain ordinance.

Property protection measures:  There are ways to retrofit a house to minimize flood damage.  Information is available through the Building Official at Town Hall during normal working hours free of charge.  The Building Inspector has available the “Guide to Selecting Architectural and Engineering Services and Contractors for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Buildings”.  This information is also available at the Library, phone (843) 869-2499.  During the threat of an impending flood situation there are emergency measures that can also be taken to minimize damage such as moving furniture to the highest level in the house.  Elevating non-elevated structures and pre-FIRM structures to current FIRM standards can mitigate property losses.

Flood plain development permits requirements: All developments in the Town (not just construction of buildings) need local or state permits.  Contact the Town Building Official before you build, fill, or otherwise develop for advice.  Should you suspect illegal flood plain development, also contact the Town Building Official.  If you have questions, contact the staff at Town Hall.

Substantial Improvements: Any repairs or improvements to existing structures that equal or exceed 50% of the value of the structure, over a five (5) year period, must conform to current building and flood regulations which might involve elevating the entire structure above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).

Drainage Maintenance: Drainage system maintenance within the town limits is accomplished cooperatively with Town, County and Department of Transportation.  Maintenance inspections are performed at least twice a year.  If you notice drainage problems, please contact Town Hall at (843) 869-2505 so they can be corrected.  Also, the Town has adopted an ordinance which makes it unlawful to dump, deposit, or otherwise cause any trash, landscape debris or other material to be placed in any stream, channel, ditch, pond or basin that regularly or periodically carries or stores water.  Violations of this ordinance are a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $500.00 and/or 30 days imprisonment.

Natural and Beneficial Functions: Edisto Beach is a beautiful place to live, and the flood plains are an important asset.  The undisturbed marshes and wetlands provide a wide range of benefits to the human and natural systems.

They provide flood storage and conveyance,  reduce flood velocities, and flood peaks.  Water quality is improved through the marshes and wetlands ability to filter nutrients and impurities from runoff and process organic wastes. 

Groundwater recharge benefits include the promotion of infiltration and aquifer recharge and the ability to reduce frequency and duration of low surface flows.  The local marshes and wetlands provide breeding and feeding grounds for fish and wildlife, create and enhance waterfowl habitat and protect habitats for rare and endangered species.  These areas support a high rate of plant growth and maintain bio-diversity and the integrity of the ecosystem. The flood plain areas provide open space, aesthetic pleasure, and areas for active and passive uses.  Signage has been installed near the dunes which has resulted in improvement of the health of the dunes.  Additional studies are underway on the subject of improving dune viability.

Flood Hazard Areas:  As the following map link shows, Adopted Preliminary Map as of March 9th, 2017if your property is located within the municipal town limits, your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  Official Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) offer more detail of flood hazard areas and are available for review at Town Hall.  For answers to questions about flood hazards at Edisto Beach, to review Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) or for more information about construction in flood prone areas, contact the Building Official at (843) 869-2505 ext 205 or  

  Now that I know what zone my property is in what does the zone determination mean? 

There are only three zones in the Town of Edisto Beach: 

1.       Zone AE is the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to the 100 year floodplains that are determined in the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) by detailed methods. In most instances, BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. 

2.        Zone VE is the flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to the 100 year coastal floodplains that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. BFEs derived from the detailed hydraulic analyses are shown at selected intervals within this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. 

3.       Zone X is the flood insurance rate zones that correspond to areas outside the 100 year floodplains, areas of 100 year sheet flow flooding where average depths are less than one foot, areas of 100 year stream flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than one square mile, or areas protected from the 100 year flood by levees. No BFEs or depths are shown within this zone.

 You can find out the risk of your property by visiting

 To find out more about the differences between the insurance and floodplain management click here.