A Georgia zoning dispute is continuing, but two Augusta strip clubs are continuing to do business while the issue winds its way through the federal courts. Local newspapers reported that an agreement between the clubs and the city government was filed in the pending case to allow business as usual to proceed until the issue is decided. The lawsuit was filed in May 2019 by the heirs of a man who owned two strip clubs located in an area of the city zoned for heavy industrial use. In 1997, the city passed an ordinance that companies located in these types of zones could either host nude dancing or alcohol sales but would not be permitted to offer both.
A Georgia addiction ministry has filed a lawsuit against the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners individually and as a group. The 30-page compliant, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleges that the board violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the Fair Housing Act and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it denied the ministry zoning approval to operate a transitional housing facility in Woodstock.
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.
Landowners in Georgia are restricted regarding what they can do with their land by zoning laws. If the zoning of a particular piece of land is not consistent with the uses the landowner wants to put it to, he or she might apply for a change of zoning. Rules and regulations vary by jurisdiction, but there is usually an application and fee, and then there could be a hearing during which the landowner sets forth the request and the reasons behind it.
Perhaps you're a North Georgia property owner with a compelling idea for a new business. You wonder whether your dreams can be realized, though, given the reality that virtually all the properties surrounding your parcel of land are family-owned homes of the two-kids-and-a-dog variety. Will there be blowback confronting your land-use plan? Will it be permitted?
Companies such as Airbnb allow Georgia residents and others to either rent their homes or find homes for rent. In Forsyth County, the question regarding what to do about short-term rentals has been unresolved since it was first brought up for debate in 2016. It has proven difficult to balance the rights of homeowners and those who live near homes being used as rentals.