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Moultrie Lifts 5-Year Moratorium

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

Rebecca Richards moved to Moultrie 9 weeks ago with hopes of fulfilling a dream:

"Fell in love with a house ... I saw a house on the internet and wanted to move, and kind of slow things down a bit."

But Richards says she'd barely unpacked her bags, when she got some surprising news:

"Actually thought that I got a bed and breakfast, but when I got here I found out that there was a moratorium."

What Richards didn't know is Moultrie had a moratorium on bed and breakfasts since 2005, effectively preventing her - or anyone else - from turning a personal home into a business where guests could stay.

City Manager Mike Scott told us one of the reasons for the moratorium is that that, as of 2005, many of the laws regarding the operation of a B 'n' B were outdated.

Richards says, "I really didn't ask the question like, 'Why do you have the moratorium?' I just asked him, 'When would it be lifted?'"

A native of Hollywood, CA, Richards was enchanted by the charm of southern Georgia, but when she arrived, she says people were not very optimistic about her chances of opening a B 'n' B.

"Just heard a lot of things about probably a better idea I didn't start a business here," says Richards.

But, Richards said she wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. Instead, she worked with neighbors and City Council members to find a solution.

Moultrie recently repealed the moratorium, and Richards says she hopes more B 'n' B's will open in the city she now calls 'home'.


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