Supreme Court Rules Against Landowners in Wedding House Zoning Dispute

Written by Firm | Jul 14, 2015 | Updates | Print PDF

Last month, the Georgia Supreme Court sided with Glynn County and against the owners of a home on St. Simon’s Island who, the court agreed, violated a zoning ordinance when they began renting their single-family home for use as a venue for weddings and other large social events. In reaching its unanimous decision in Burton v. Glynn County,the court looked to the size and nature of the gatherings occuring at the home, as well as the way in which the home was advertised, including through online promotion. The evidence showed that the house at issue, both in terms of use and presentation, was not a typical vacation rental property. Instead, the court confirmed, the use of the house, marketed as “St. Simons’ Island’s premiere wedding destination,” had “moved beyond that expected or customary for a one-family dwelling,” thus falling “outside the scope of residential property use” in violation of the county ordinance.

For more information on this case, or to discuss your commercial land-use and zoning questions, please contact Rachel Gage or Alexander Denton.