Commission denies vacation rental permit

Published 9:00 am Friday, May 5, 2023

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners has denied a request for a short-term vacation rental permit for a property at 216 Long Cove Dr.

The special use permit was denied during a public hearing at the commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday. The Planning and Zoning Board previously voted to recommend denial of the permit with a 6-0 vote after receiving opposition from the neighborhood.

Special Projects Manager Jay Anderson said concerns had been raised about the number of people at the rented property, the noise and unknown people walking the property line. He said the concerns stemmed from the property being a quiet residential area with single-family homes and not vacation homes.

The owner of the property, Paul Mills, said the concerns raised were relatively easy to fix. He said there would never be more than six people staying in the residence.

“There are no large parties. The reason it is an attractive property for people is because that is exactly what they’re looking for peace and quiet,” Mills said. “It’s not a party pad. It’s not a motel.”

Mills said he would vet everyone who stays there, and he doesn’t have to rent it to anyone.

“All the complaints that were stated previously were not complaints about anyone that stayed there. They were complaints about me. They’re all complaints about me being at the property. walking up and down the property, my lights on my personal watercraft, having a 75th birthday party for my father. That’s the only event that’s been held there,” Mills said.

Mills said he planned to use the property as a second home because it no longer suits his needs after taking custody of his granddaughter.

He said he wants to rent it out when he and his wife are not there to justify keeping it.

Several people from the community voiced concerns and asked the commissioners to deny the permit.

Tiffany Wright, who lives near the property, said she was opposed out of safety concerns. She said her husband is frequently away from home for work leaving her home alone with their three daughters.

“The neighborhood is roughly split 50-50 with working and retired homeowners. Lots in our neighborhood are one acre, but they are long and narrow, only about 110 feet [wide] in the back with the configuration of the homes very close together. We have quite a quiet and safe neighborhood. We are concerned about the safety and the noise in the neighborhood,” Wright said.

Arthur Hausmann said he has lived in the community for 33 years, which has a homeowner’s association and a covenant for the property.

“[Mills] should have got the covenant when he bought the property. If he had a good lawyer, he would have known that about rules. Residential use is one of them, single-family residential and we do have a nuisance clause in that covenant. This is what I consider a nuisance,” Hausmann said.

Long Cove Drive resident Melvin Tatman said that it was indicated that, according to the number of bedrooms, if it is approved, eight people would be allowed in the rental.

“I’ve seen more than eight people in that backyard when he had it rented out. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard noise at night. I don’t want the traffic. I know everybody that lives up where we live. I know every car they drive, and I see [a lot] more traffic now than I’ve ever seen,” Tatman said.

Tatman said all of the issues started in the last few months when Mills began renting the property.

“I’m totally against it, and it’s not how our neighborhood should be. It’s not what we want in our neighborhood,” Tatman said.

After hearing comments from the public, the commissioners voted unanimously to deny the short-term vacation rental permit.

Commission denies vacation rental permit