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The Hall County Planning Commission is set to hear proposed changes to Hall County's Short-Term Rental Ordinance at its meeting later this month.
"With Lake Lanier as a nationwide tourist destination and Hall County's proximity to both the Appalachian mountains and the metro area, short-term rentals have become fairly popular here," Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs said. "While we welcome the economic impact that tourism may spur, we have to find a more efficient way to regulate this industry in order to minimize any adverse effects that occur on surrounding permanent, residential areas."
According to the draft ordinance, short term rentals will no longer be available to properties zoned Residential-1 (R-1). In addition, short-term rentals for properties zoned Vacation-Cottage (V-C) will only be available following approval by the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
As is the case with the current short-term rental ordinance, the draft ordinance also requires owners of short-term rental properties to apply for a business license and pay all required excise tax. A local contact person will also be required to respond to the rental property within one hour after being notified by the Hall County Marshals Office of any issues at the property.
"Our hope is that this helps to preserve the character of the surrounding neighborhoods in which these short-term rentals occur," said Gibbs.
The draft ordinance also stipulates that no more than four vehicles can be parked at a short-term rental property and that each bedroom, adjoining hallway and common area be equipped with an operational smoke detector. It also outlines that short-term rentals with an approved occupancy of six persons or more are considered non-regular residences and will require an on-site inspection to ensure commercial building code is being met.
"Once a business license for a short-term rental property is issued or renewed, the County will mail a notice at the owner's expense to all residences within 500 feet of the short-term rental property, notifying neighbors that such a license has been issued," said Hall County Planning Director Srikanth Yamala. "The notification will also include information regarding how to file any complaints about the property."
Penalties for violating any of the requirements range from a written notice, fines not to exceed $1,000 and having one's business license revoked.
The Hall County Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the ordinance Feb. 21. It will then receive a first reading and public hearing by the Hall County Board of Commissioners on March 6.
A second reading and public hearing is scheduled for March 22, when it is then scheduled to be voted on during the regularly scheduled voting meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center.