Home rental causes problems for neighbors on Adams Court
A handful of residents on Adams Court in unincorporated Fayette County asked the county commission Feb. 27 for help with problems stemming from a neighbor who rents out his property to large gatherings such as family reunions and the like.
Their pleas came as the commission heard a staff presentation on short-term rentals and the problems they can cause to local neighborhoods.
The neighbors on Adams Court recalled one time when a “biker gang” rented the home and caused a nuisance to neighbors on the street.
Steve Richards, who lives at 145 Adams Court, said the bikers blocked the street and took a long time to “fix their bicycles” in the middle of the road.
“The Rutledges own the property,” Richards said. “It was a residential house and built for that purpose.”
There have also been large buses going to and from the property which have caused damage to lawns, neighbors said.
It was noted that the commission didn’t want to prevent short-term home rentals associated with movie productions, particularly as Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville begins production later this year.
At the same time, there is sentiment to find a way to regulate rentals that negatively impact the quality of life for local residents such as the situation described by many who live on Adams Court.
Resident Ray Swann summed it all up for the commission.
“We need peace returned to our neighborhood,” Swann said.
Swann cited noise and traffic from 7 a.m. through 3 a.m. the next day. The home is also rented out for weddings and receptions, which can prevent Adams Court residents from getting in their driveways.
County Code Enforcement Officer Kathy Hobbs noted that county staff have met with the property owner but he has declined to halt the rental activity.
The county will look at how best to address the problem, perhaps using the fire safety code or rules on septic tanks, since the address is advertised as sleeping up to 26 people.
Hobbs also noted that the rental business should have to pay a sales tax and a hotel tax as well.
There also remains the question of whether the rental property is a business and if, under zoning rules, it can operate on land zoned for residential use only, officials said.
The potential regulations for the commission to consider will be covered at the group’s annual retreat, slated for April 4.
Commissioner David Barlow urged the process be expedited under the theory that public safety is one of the most important services the county government provides.
County Manager Steve Rapson said a draft would be ready soon for commissioners to review.
“It sounds like we have some permit issues we need to look into immediately,” said Commission Chairman Steve Brown.