Letter: Neighborhood ignored in the B&B decision

To the Editor:

I am disgusted at the Nov. 14 approval of the Circle Drive B&B application.

At the three meetings opponents provided substantial arguments regarding safety concerns and negative property value impacts, yet no P&Z commissioner except Stephen Cole, opposing, addressed these points. This is a warning to those where similar applications might occur, and who like the vast majority here, may be essentially ignored. B&B commercial enterprises in a purely residential area unfortunately can legally be approved, unlike three court cases recently overturned against P&Z for actions deemed out of bounds.

Briefly on safety: We have a set of three narrow streets with several areas of potential danger especially to the many children, some small, playing, or going to or from school buses. It is so dangerous that the applicants, when their children were small, installed a driveway gate to keep their children from the street. Further, at one dangerous corner drivers have to ease slowly forward because of limited line of vision, in another have to slowly swing wide to go down a hill with obstructed view. Neighborhood residents know these dangers; not necessarily B&B visitors.  

The neighborhood by an overwhelming 30 families opposed, five favoring, and nine uncommitted did not want the B&B.

Simple supply and demand analysis suggests the home values decline when a B&B is introduced, as reinforced in a particular recent home sale here. Also, a neighborhood resident raced to put a vacant lot on sale here at a price, according to a knowledgeable party, 20% lower than with no B&B pending.

This whole process has been very painful for the vast majority in this neighborhood. We hope if a B&B is sought elsewhere in town facing similar majority opposition, they find a way to be acknowledged and reflected in the decision making process. We unfortunately were not.

William R. Jaeger

Circle Drive East, Nov. 20