Walton ‘monster house’ plans would get closer look under proposal

FREEPORT — Plans for some number of so-called “monster houses” — massive short-term vacation rental properties that can in some cases sleep as many as a few dozen people — would get closer scrutiny in Walton County under proposed amendments to the land development code now headed to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners for consideration.

The Walton County Planning Commission sent the proposed short-term vacation rental regulation ordinance to the County Commission with a Thursday vote that had just one dissenting voice. Tanner Peacock, a real estate professional, wanted a delay to allow time “to think through the unintended consequences” of the proposal.

With regard to so-called “monster houses,” the proposed ordinance would require a review of plans for large short-term vacation rental uses, including new construction or conversion of existing single-family housing (either attached or separate structures) designed for occupancy by more than 32 people or comprising more than 4,800 square feet.

‘Monster house’: 7,500-square-foot rental with 18 rooms under construction on Miramar Beach

Addressing ordinance: Walton working on ordinance to address ‘monster houses’

The review would be conducted by the county’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) — a group of representatives of various county departments and chaired by Walton County Planning Department Director Mac Carpenter — who review proposals for compliance with an array of technical requirements, from fire safety to stormwater management.