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Posted on: February 8, 2019

Hall County to consider proposed amendments to short term rental ordinance

The Hall County Planning Commission is set to hear proposed amendments to Hall County's Short Term Rental Ordinance at its meeting later this month.

During the adoption of the current ordinance in March 2018, Hall County Chairman, Richard Higgins, stated, "The Commission wants to create an ordinance that balances the concerns and rights of property owners desiring to rent their properties on a short term basis and also their neighboring property owners. The County must be able to properly balance enforcement, economic growth, and the quality of neighborhoods. Staff will closely track violations and complaints, and the data will be used for future planning and necessary adjustments to the ordinance."

The County has been operating under the new ordinance for almost one year and closely monitoring the outcomes.  The proposed amendments are a result of this process.  The new ordinance will allow short term rentals for all properties zoned Residential-I (R-I) and Residential-II (R-II) following approval by the Hall County Planning Commission.  This is a change, especially in R-I and R-II where previous stipulations have been eased.  No changes to properties zoned Vacation-Cottage (V-C), Agricultural-Residential-III (AR-III) and Agricultural-Residential-IV (AR-IV) are being proposed.

"Staff has closely monitored short term rentals over the last year, and the changes being proposed fall in line with what's out there today combined with the sole purpose of realizing the County's goal to balance the rights of property owners and to preserve the character of surrounding neighborhoods," said Hall County Planning and Development Director Srikanth Yamala.

The ordinance still requires owners of short term rental properties to apply for a business license and pay all required excise tax. Issuance and renewal of the business license require the County to mail a notice to all residences within 500 feet of the short term rental property, notifying neighbors that such a license has been issued. "The notification will also include information regarding how to file any complaints about the property," said Yamala.

A local contact person is 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. The ordinance also stipulates that no vehicles shall be parked on the county right-of-way or along any roadways at any time.  The ordinance violation penalties remain the same. Violating any of the requirements range from a written notice, fines not to exceed $1,000 to one's business license revoked.

The Hall County Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the amendments Feb. 18. It will then receive a first reading and public hearing by the Hall County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 28. A second reading, public hearing, and vote are scheduled for March 14, at 6 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center. 

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