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Why Hall County is looking at 'glamping' laws, and what makes an outhouse 'luxurious'

Update: The Hall County Planning Commission discussed the issue Feb. 15.

Is “glamping” coming to Hall County?

“Glamorous” camping that combines campfires with hotel-like accommodations or amenities is being proposed by a couple of people in Hall, nudging county officials to see just how the activity fits in zoning laws.

“We do not have any sort of camping designation currently within our zoning regulations,” Hall Planning Director Sarah McQuade said. “The closest classification is for a mobile home/travel trailer park, which, while close, it still does not address the request for temporary occupancy of a non-permanent structure.”

The county has gotten two informal requests for “glamping.”

One person is proposing to develop eight campsites with “luxurious outhouses,” a common parking area and playground. Each campsite would have a slab or platform for a tent. The “outhouses” would have traditional plumbing fixtures, according to a county document.

The 9 ½-acre site is now zoned vacation cottage. The property owner also owns an adjacent parcel, also zoned vacation cottage, that is about half the size as the other lot and has a house that was built in 1945, according to the document.

Hall County Planning Commission

What: Considering “glamping” as a permitted use in Hall County

When: 5:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15

Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Note: The meeting can be viewed at

“The property owner is in the process of renovating the adjacent residence and intends to use it as a caretakers residence for the glamping sites,” the document says.

A second person has proposed a similar development off Winder Highway/Ga. 53 near Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“This individual had not yet developed a site plan and was inquiring as to what the appropriate zoning classification would be,” the document says.

McQuade said she didn’t feel comfortable sharing the locations of the potential developments as the “property owners may choose not to move forward depending on how the (Hall County) Planning Commission decides to classify the request.”

Also, “because we do not have a way to classify this use at this time, there have not been any (official) applications submitted.”

The issue is set to go before the planning board on Monday, Feb. 15.

Planning staff is recommending that a new “glamping” use be added to the uses now permitted in residential and agricultural zoning districts and that requests would need to conform with a number of standards, including that “no campsite shall be rented or occupied for a period of more than 30 days.”

The planning board’s recommendation would be forwarded to the Hall County Board of Commissioners for a final decision.