Local residents upset with Airbnb guests

Dec. 20—Local residents were upset with guests at an Airbnb causing traffic problems on Kentucky River Road, a former farm road turned community.

"Last February, there was a wreck at the bottom of the hill where vehicles had to be towed out," resident Stephanie Adkins said during a recent Madison County Fiscal Court meeting.

She told the court about several close calls with head on collisions due to people not observing the 25 mile per hour speed limit.

Adkins says that she has over 40 signatures that tie to the matter. She also says she spent several days after work talking to other residents who live along Kentucky River Road.

"They have horror stories. Everybody has almost been hit, their kids have almost been hit, their animals have almost been hit," she said.

Bert Thomas, Madison County Planning Director along with county road supervisor, Scott Shepherd both spoke from the county planning and roads perspective.

"The short answer is we changed the (regulations). The long answer is when it went to the board of adjustments before, it was a conditional use. In terms of a business license, we didn't really have any regulations on the books for short term rentals or airbnbs and that kind of thing," Thomas said.

Thomas said that when they updated the regulations, they added to the regulations stuff that pertained to VRBOs, Airbnbs and other short term rentals that weren't thought of two decades prior when the prior regulations were made.

Thomas also said that he is only able to go as far as planning and building code enforcement can let him, he doesn't control speeding or reckless driving.

Shepherd stated that the problems that Adkins was having would rise to the point she would have to contact Madison County law enforcement.

Adkins said that she has called law enforcement several different times and they won't come out.

Magistrate Stephen Lochmueller said that Adkins or anyone else in that area should contact him directly and he will get the Sheriff's Office out to future complaints.

Judge Reagan Taylor asked for Thomas to go over how they got to this point.

Thomas stated that there numerous public meetings held for this change. Thomas also said those meetings was also advertised online and in the newspaper and they got 300 plus responses online for a survey about the change of land use for this.

The Fiscal Court along with planning will take a deeper look at this, due to the citizens who spoke at Fiscal Court.

With this meeting, fiscal court finished up 2023 business, they will be off on Christmas Day and on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) in observance of Christmas. Madison County government will also be off January 1 and January 2 for the New Year's holiday.

Fiscal Court will pick up meetings again in 2024 starting on January 9 in Berea.