Moratorium placed on short-term vacation rental permits

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Troup County Board of Commissioners have placed a 60-day moratorium on permits for short-term vacation rental permits.

The moratorium was approved after a last-minute addition to the commission meeting agenda at the recommendation of County Attorney Jerry Willis.

“We’ve been working on a Unified Development Ordinance for quite a while and one of the things that’s going to be in the UDO once it’s approved and adopted will be regulation rules and regulations for short-term rentals. Our development department needs further examination; we need further review of what we need to put in place,” Willis said.

Willis asked the commissioners for the 60-day moratorium to make sure that the ordinance is appropriate as new permit requests come in.

Because property owners are essentially using homes as a business, the county currently requires permits for short-term vacation rentals, even rentals through apps like Airbnb or VRBO. The permits are only required for short-term rentals where houses are being used in lieu of a hotel, not regular rental leases, explained County Manager Eric Mosley.

Community Development Director Troy Anderson and his staff are currently working on a new ordinance to govern and regulate short-term rentals as opposed to waiting until the entire UDO to be approved, Willis said.

The new ordinance will hopefully be completed within the 60-day moratorium, but it can be extended if needed, Mosley said.

“That’s certainly not our intention to do so,” he said. “We hope to have the ordinance ready before then.”

Three permit requests that were received by the county prior to the moratorium will still be considered in upcoming meetings.

Anderson said several other property owners within the county have been discovered to be offering short-term rentals out of compliance. Willis stopped short of saying whether the county would be able to put a halt to them in the meantime.

The commissioners unanimously approved the 60-day moratorium.

Only short-term vacation rental permits accepted prior to the vote will be considered until the end of the moratorium.

In other business:

  • The commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of LaGrange for landscape maintenance of Exit 13 off of Interstate 85. Approximately, $35,000 was turned over to the county from the LaGrange Development Authority to help pay for the maintenance.
  • The commissioners approved a request from the solicitor’s office to apply for and accept a VOCA Grant in the amount of $61,557.
  • The commissioners approved a request from Mental Health Court to apply for the CJCC/CACJ Law Enforcement Grant in the amount of $8,000.
  • The commissioners approved a request to apply for the 2024 GDOT Rural Transit Grant, which helps pay for Troup Transit. The grant pays up to 50 percent of operating costs and 90 percent of capital costs.