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Avondale Estates City Commission approves conditional use permits for short-term rentals, Airbnbs

Avondale Estates Business

Avondale Estates City Commission approves conditional use permits for short-term rentals, Airbnbs

Avondale Estates City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission, at its May 11 meeting, approved three conditional use permits for short-term rentals, like Airbnbs, that will operate as a bed and breakfast. The property owners will additionally need to apply for a business license.

The three applicants each have at least one bedroom and bathroom available for overnight guests. Two of the applicants have a private entrance to the short-term rental space, and the entrance to the other is the front door. Two of the applicants also provide one to two parking spaces on-site, and the third offers on-street parking.

“In our brand-new zoning, we’re going from illegal long-term rentals and any kind of short term rental in the residential area to make BNB’s and long term rentals legal. I’ve had a lot of input in this matter and people seem to be very concerned about all the ways the system could be gamed, and how are we going to handle all that,” Commissioner Lisa Shortell said.

This was the first time the city commission considered these types of applications under the city’s updated zoning code.

“I think staff has come up with a lot of good supplemental regulations to ensure that folks are doing what they say they’re doing, and we just hope and expect that our residents will comply,” Shortell said. “If there are problems down the road, the zoning can be changed.”

Short-term rentals of an accessory dwelling unit for less than 30 days are prohibited under the city’s zoning code. But property owners can get a conditional use permit and business license to operate as a bed and breakfast. They would have to stay on the property and serve a meal to rent out space in their residence.

There is one distinction. If an accessory dwelling unit does not have a separate kitchen facility, then it can be considered a candidate for a short-term rental. But if an ADU has a separate kitchen facility, it can be rented out for 30 days or more, but not less than 30 days.

Avondale Estates doesn’t allow short-term rentals of a whole house.

In other business, the city commission approved a project agreement for the stormwater project on Majestic Circle. Summit Construction submitted an application with a base bid of about $174,000.

“As we discussed at the previous work session, this contract is for drainage improvements along Majestic Circle,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said. “This is a project that was identified by Brown and Caldwell in the city’s stormwater priority plan. This is the second of five priority projects that we anticipate executing within the next two years, and we are excited to move forward in the process.”

Once the contract is executed, city staff will develop a schedule with the contractor, so residents can be notified as to the date and time when they may be impacted by the project. According to the RFP, the work would be completed within 90 days.

The board additionally approved funding up to $70,000 for more upgrades to the city’s public works building, including the replacement of insulation and installation of secure areas.

“Following work performed at the public works facility, in what is now known as phase one of upgrades, we determined that there was a need for further upgrade to the facility,” Bryant said. “Those upgrades include patching insulation, and then providing a metal sheathing to cover the insulation to lessen the possibility of future damage, some additional work to fashion secured storage areas, and an air compressor that will be used to perform a myriad of different activities.”

The city will also work with For All Seasons for on-call tree services. Avondale Estates issued a request for proposals for on-call tree services because the city was operating in an ad hoc fashion with tree removal and pruning.

The city also recently underwent a tree inventory, which identified a number of trees in need of attention. Tree services will be needed more frequently as the city grows its tree canopy.

“Given the fact that we now have bulk requests and no longer need to operate in an ad hoc fashion, that we could do so and obtain better pricing this way,” Bryant said. “It just so happens that one of the providers the city has used in the past on a regular basis is For All Seasons.”

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