Zoning legislation targets commercial party houses

Some Georgia officials are debating how to handle "party houses" and the potential disruptions that they may provoke in residential neighborhoods. The mayor of Atlanta and a member of the Buckhead city council are calling for a revised process for issuing permits to the commercially-rented properties. The calls are coming after a public controversy about a number of events that have taken place at one party mansion on Garmon Road, sparking complaints about noise and crowds from neighbors. The proposed bill would bar the establishment of "party houses" as commercial operations in neighborhoods zoned for residential use.

However, these businesses could seek out and receive a special permit allowing them to operate in the residentially-zoned area. The council member promoting the bill said that it would enforce the city's existing zoning code and allow officials to determine more clearly which types of activities were permitted for these rental businesses. At the same time, he noted that property rights also provide protectors for the owners and operators of some "party houses". These owners are not always disclosed or available to the public.

The Garmon Road address is the former home of Kenny Rogers and is now a business offering party rentals. According to residents, people at these parties have been seen carrying large rifles and some guests have arrived by helicopter, causing significant noise disruption. If adopted, the legislation would create a specific definition of a commercial party house in zoning law.

Disputes over zoning can be common. In some cases, neighbors may violate the rights of legitimate owners, while others may have legitimate concerns about property damage and quiet enjoyment. An attorney can help people to protect their property rights and address land use and zoning issues.

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