FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Movie shoots are taking over the state of Georgia as production companies enjoy the state’s tax incentives; but what's a boon for business is becoming a headache for some homeowners.
The complaints in one county are forcing local leaders to take action to protect residents, like Jane Bentley.
“We have had as many as two 18-wheelers, three or four large vans, trucks, cars, numerous cars parked on our street,” Bentley told 11Alive's Faith Abubey on Tuesday. “They block the intersection… they've crushed the driveway culvert so the water can't flow through it anymore …they parked on driveways that block people's mailboxes.”
Bentley can go on and on about how a production crew disrupted the peace and quiet in her Flowery Branch neighborhood.
“It’s was awful,” she said.
The crew was in the area filming a Netflix series for the better part of six months. They've since packed up, but Bentley said the company left some damage behind.
“When they disrupt other people's lives, it's going too far,” she said.
Hall County leaders told 11Alive that most residents who come into contact with movie crews in the county have had positive experiences. But some homeowners, like Bentley, have also complained about the impact of film crews on their everyday lives.
Katie Crumbley, the public information officer for the county government, said the hope is that a new ordinance will address the concerns.
“This ordinance will make sure that people's property is protected and if anything is changed, or moved or if any damage is caused, that the film production company will be responsible for making it whole,” she said.
While Bentley likes the initiative, she also said the ordinance, as it is now, needs a lot of improvement. One example, she said, is a requirement for film crews to notify more homeowners before starting a production, getting approval from individual property owners before parking large equipment and not working when the community is asleep.
“They had a garbage truck scene where they had a garbage truck out here on Gaines Ferry Road at 1:30 a.m., 2 o’clock in the morning, driving up and down the road," she recalled.
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As county leaders try to appease both sides, they also want to make sure the negatives don't drown out the reward of having big productions in the county.
“[Movie crews] are spending their money in Hall County," Crumbley said. "They are staying at our hotels, they are eating at our restaurants, and that's a positive thing."
Hall County leaders will host two public hearings on the ordinance before voting on a final version.
There’s a meeting this Thursday and on the 23 at 6 p.m. at the Government Center. Homeowners who have specific concerns they want addressed in the ordinance, are urged to show up to the meetings or contact the county government.
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