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Rockdale residents packed a Board of Commissioners meeting in August to voice their concerns about short term vacation rentals in the county. The Planning Commission will take up a proposed ordinance regulating vacation rentals Thursday evening, and citizens will be able to comment on it at the meeting.

CONYERS — Citizens will have their first chance to comment on a proposed ordinance dealing with vacation rentals at the Rockdale County Planning Commission meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the county Assembly Hall at 901 Main St. in Conyers. The ordinance sets out regulations governing the establishment of vacation rentals.

Multiple incidents of violence, noise, damage to property and traffic congestion at short-term vacation rental locations in Rockdale County in the past year have had residents calling for a ban on vacation rental properties, rather than regulations.

In June, Planning and Development Director Kc Krzic told the Board of Commissioners that her department had begun working on ordinances to govern vacation rentals. A first reading of the ordinance was approved by the BOC at its Sept. 24 meeting.

The ordinance amends the Unified Development Ordinance of Rockdale County to create a section for “vacation rental.” The ordinance defines vacation rental as, “The primary use of all or part of a single-family dwelling unit by rental for temporary occupancy for dwelling, sleeping, or lodging of no more than 30 consecutive days. Vacation rentals include the arrangement of such rental by the owner through a booking agent.”

The section of the UDO entitled “Permits and Special Uses” will be amended to include vacation rental, and will allow them in A-R (Agricultural-Residential) and R1 (Single-Family Residential) zoning.

Among the standards set for vacation rentals in the ordinance are:

♦ Vacation rentals… shall not be permitted in accessory structures, non-habitable structures, nor temporary structures, such as recreational vehicles, tents, canopies, yurts, or similar structures.

♦ Vacation rentals shall meet applicable International Building Code and International Fire Code regulations.

♦ Vacation rentals may have a maximum of four guest rooms or sleeping rooms.

♦ Maximum overnight occupancy for vacation rentals shall be up to… a maximum of 10 persons, excluding children under 2 years of age.

♦ The maximum number of total guests and visitors allowed at any time in a single vacation rental shall not exceed the maximum overnight occupancy (10), plus four additional persons per property during the daytime, or 14 persons, excluding children under 2 years of age.

♦ Only a single-family residence meeting current standards shall be used as a vacation rental. Only one tenant shall be allowed on-site at any given time. Only one transient rental is allowed per parcel.

♦ Vehicles must be parked in the driveway, garage or other approved surface. No vehicles shall be parked on the right of way or along any roadway at any time.

♦ There must be a minimum of two on-site parking spaces for a vacation rental with up to two guest rooms, and three on-site parking spaces for a three or four guest room vacation rental.

♦ Larger vacation rentals are prohibited.

♦ Quiet hours shall be from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. The property owner shall ensure that the quiet hours and limits on outdoor activities are included in rental agreements and in all online advertisements and listings.

♦ Outdoor amplified sound, other than household speakers, shall not be allowed at any time.

♦ All vacation rentals operating within the county must have a local certified property manager who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during all times that the property is rented or used on a transient basis.

♦ The owner shall pay all required county property taxes and fees.

♦ The owner shall register the local certified property manager and update any contact information with the Department of Planning and Development.

♦ The owner shall obtain a business license for said vacation rental and comply with all applicable provisions of Article II — Occupation Tax.

♦ The owner shall pay a hotel/motel occupancy tax for said vacation rental and comply with all applicable provisions of Article III — Hotel Motel Occupational Tax.

Once the ordinance is voted on by the Planning Commission, it will go back to the Board of Commissioners for a public hearing, and following that, for a final vote. The dates of the BOC public hearing and vote have not yet been released.

The Planning and Development Department will also be presenting the ordinance on Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Rockdale Coalition of Homeowners and Civic Associations meeting at the J. P. Carr Community Center, 981 Taylor St. in Conyers. They will present all of the aspects, explain what will be required, and the permitting and inspection processes. They will also be accepting feedback from the public.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.