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Lakefront community requests rezone to restrict short-term rentals

Lakefront community requests rezone to restrict short-term rentals

The Franklin County Planning Commission is moving forward with a request from Idlewood Shores residents on July 13 to begin rezoning the lakefront community to restrict short-term rentals.

Last week’s decision was procedural and not the final word. The commission still must hold a public hearing and recommend approval of the rezoning. After that the county’s board of supervisors would consider the request.

The request was made during the commission’s citizen comment period with David Davis, vice president of Idlewood Shores’ homeowners association, speaking on behalf of the community. He asked that the community be rezoned from A1 (agricultural) to R1 (residential).

Davis said Idlewood Shores has no agricultural aspects and is a purely residential. Its covenants have been updated multiple times to “reflect an R1 community,” he said. He asked the commission to recommend a rezoning to better reflect what the community is.

Community members came to the board last week following a request from an Idlewood Shores resident for a short-term rental in May. Short-term rentals must be granted a special-use permit by the county in areas zoned A1.

While the request was denied by the planning commission in May, Davis said members of the community asked for a rezoning to assure no other short-term rentals are requested. He said the homeowners association had created a covenant to prohibit short-term rentals, but the community wanted a more long-term solution by rezoning to R1 which forbids short-term rentals.

James Colby, Gills Creek District representative, said he was in favor of the request. He said the community should have never been zoned as A1 to begin with.

“I call this a correction” Colby said.

Other members of the commission were more hesitant with the request. Deborah Crawford, Union Hall District representative, questioned whether all residents were in favor of rezoning the property to something that is more restrictive of what it allows its residents. She said she would like to see the entire Idlewood Shores community be 100% in agreement before approving a rezone.

Despite concerns from some members, the commission voted unanimously to proceed with considering the rezoning request. A public hearing will be conducted by the planning commission later this year. It will then move to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors for a second public hearing and a final vote.

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