Tuesday October 15th, 2019 2:48PM

Hall Commission will look at setting agri-entertainment complaint rules

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – Hall County might soon take a look at capping the number of complaint related citations allowed for entertainment venues, similar to policies recently adopted for short term vacation rentals.

The topic came up at Monday’s Hall County Commission work session as commissioners considered a special use agri-entertainment application made by Michelle Gibbs regarding a 4.65-acre tract on Ransom Free Road in the northern end of the county.

Hall County Planning and Development Director Srikanth Yamala explained Gibb’s request to the commission.  “The application is for…wedding and similar gatherings that would occur (at) an existing barn on the property.  As a part of the request the applicant has requested two variances.”  Both requests, Yamala explained, concerned required property line setbacks.

District 3 Commissioner Billy Powell asked Yamala, “Do we have any ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ on this (agri-entertainment) ordinance like we do on the short term rental?”

“No sir, we don’t,” Yamala replied.

Powell was referring to ordinances approved in the spring governing short term housing rentals, in which business license owners would have their licenses revoked after three citations issued over complaints filed with the Hall County Marshall’s Office.

Click here to view the Hall County Short Term Rental Property Guidebook.

District 1 Commissioner Kathy Cooper asked how many agri-entertainment applications had been approved.  Planning Department Manager Sarah McQuade said thirteen, as best she could remember.

Powell said it seemed like the number of property line setback variance requests attached to agri-entertainment special use applications was becoming more and more common.  Yamala responded by saying he knew of three, maybe four, “But nothing of this magnitude.”

Gibbs’ variance requests are to reduce the property line setback requirement for the barn from 300-feet to 72.6-feet, and to reduce the property line setback for the parking lot from 200-feet to 20-feet.

Yamala said, “The reason (Planning Department) staff recommended in favor of these two variances and the overall application is because the two adjoining property owners…have provided supporting documents to the Planning Commission.”

Powell looked at his fellow commissioners and asked if developing similar rules for agri-entertainment business license holders as were in place for short term rental business license holders was something they thought needed to be undertaken.

Chairman Richard Higgins and Commissioner Cooper agreed the need was there. 

Powell told Yamala, “Why don’t you bring it (ordinance proposals) to us when you can work it out.”

Powell said after the work session, "This is similar - it's gonna be because of noise if people have a complaint - and it just seems related so we ought to have a similar type of remedy."

Gibbs’ application will be decided Tuesday evening as part of a special-called voting session.  (Note: Thursday’s scheduled voting session has been cancelled.)

The final vote on Hall County's Fiscal Year 2020 budget and the adherent millage rates to fund the budget will take place Tuesday evening, as well. 

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