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Hall Commission to hear comments on changes to short-term vacation rental rules
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Commissioners will hear comments on proposed regulations to vacation rental rules and will vote on the last four acres of a 522-acre industrial park on Thursday.

Changes to short-term rental rules

Hall County may make changes to its rules on short-term vacation rentals, and commissioners will be holding a hearing on a new ordinance Thursday.

The new rules would allow all homes zoned Residential-I or Residential-II to apply for vacation rental status. Currently, homes zoned Residential-I have to be within 500 feet of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers line around Lake Lanier and in a subdivision with 10 or fewer homes.

Homes zoned Residential-II, which would be in higher-density areas, are not currently eligible to be vacation rentals.

On Feb. 18, the Hall County Planning Commission recommended denial of the proposed ordinance after two members, Stan Hunt and Chris Braswell, voted to approve and two members, Gina Pilcher and Frank Sosebee, voted to deny.

Three residents spoke in favor of the changes on Feb. 18, and seven people said they were opposed. Some said they thought the new rules would provide more oversight for short-term rentals. Others said they were concerned about crime and safety with short-term rentals and transiency in their neighborhoods, so they did not want restrictions loosened.

Under the proposed ordinance, short-term rentals for properties zoned Residential-I and Residential-II would need to be approved by the planning commission, which would hold a public meeting where neighbors could comment.

Commissioners will not be voting on the changes until the March 14 meeting, when they will also hold another public hearing.

While no changes have officially been made to the proposed ordinance, a provision regulating homes zoned Vacation-Cottage is being considered and gained some support at the planning commission meeting. Currently, homes in this zoning can get a business license to operate a short-term rental without getting approval from the planning commission.

Harold Trip of Buford said he supports the suggested change because he would like to see more oversight for homes zoned Vacation-Cottage. While he does not operate a short-term rental himself, he said, his home is surrounded by them. He said these neighborhoods are not usually filled with “cottages,” so they should need approval just like other homes.

“It was little bitty houses that were there for a weekend vacation,” Trip said. “But now, those homes have been replaced with as much as 13,000-square-foot homes.”

Gateway Village development

About four acres of the Gateway Village development, a 522-acre industrial park off Ga. 365 in northeast Hall, will be up for a vote for rezoning Thursday.

Commissioners approved rezoning to planned industrial development for most of the property on Chiplan Road in December. Only about four acres are left for approval.

The development would have up to 130,000 square feet of retail, as well as industrial space and a research and development center. The total developable space on the property is about 2.6 million square feet.

The Hall County Planning Commission is recommending approval.

Gateway Village is one of several new developments expected to bring more industry and traffic to the Ga. 365 corridor. The Northeast Georgia Inland Port, which is set to open in 2021, is expected to handle about 150,000 containers per year. Also, the new Lanier Technical College campus in the area can accommodate more than 5,000 students and is more than double the size of the college’s previous location in Oakwood.

Hall County Board of Commissioners

  • When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28
  • Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

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