Sheriff Robert Holland has directed his officers to investigate allegations of possible violations involving short-term rentals. Commissioners forbade most short-term rentals or leases to counter the spread of coronavirus, beginning March 27.
Owners cannot allow visitors for less than 28 days, or for more than 28 days if the rentals are not occupied on a consistent basis.
“We can’t allow people to refuse to protect their neighbors,” Holland said Monday.
There are exceptions to the local law.
Rental owners are allowed to provide shelter for medical personnel, emergency workers, construction workers and more. Go to maconcountync.org and click on “Macon County supplemental proclamation of State of Emergency” for a complete list.
As of Monday, Macon County had one case of confirmed COVID-19 involving a full-time resident and two confirmed cases involving nonresidents. There has been one coronavirus-connected death.
District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said her office intends to vigorously prosecute anyone charged with violating short-term rental restrictions.
The penalty is a class-two misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
“Local leaders are trying to provide protections for the good of all residents during this national, regional and community crisis,” Welch said Monday. “The unlawful and selfish actions of just a few could have enormous negative health consequences for many.”
Call Macon County Sheriff’s Office at 828.349.2104 to report possible short-term visitation violations.