About the Neighbors...

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domestique's picture
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Hi, I'm new to posting but have been absorbing your wisdom now for a few months as part of my due diligence.   DH and I are in the process of purchasing an 1888 Victorian that has fallen into neglect.  We intend to renovate and operate as a five room b&b.  We are in a city setting and have contacted all of the neighbors within 350 feet of the property regarding the rezoning to allow us to operate as our city requires.  We held a nice get-together at our current home about two months ago to show our plans, answer questions and try to identify potential "issues".  We have had overwhelming support from the neighborhood as a whole, the neighborhood association has endorsed the project and so has the land use committee.  However, we just learned that the next door neighbors are opposed, even though they expressed support when we first went to speak to them prior to putting in our offer on the house.  The wife doesn't want to live next door to a "commercial operation" and doesn't want to discuss it.  Her husband is open to discussion so we are setting up a meeting.  Any suggestions on how to have the NIMBY conversation?  We do not wish to have an adversarial relationship with the neighbor!  Thanks in advance for any advice you'd like to share!  

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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Some people are just determined to be grumpy and follow no logic cos 5 room I guarante you will not be doing enough volume of business even at 100% occupancy that it would cause a blip in your neighbours lives. If you were 80 bedrooms or even 20 maybe but at that level they may be asked for directions about twice a year and that would be a surprise! best of luck!

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domestique's picture
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Update:  Neighbor still unwilling to speak directly with us.

The property was recently nominated by our City Councilor for study by the HPC.  Neighbor circulated a petition opposing the possible designation.

At the hearing, which is only to determine the question at hand--does the property merit study as a potential historic site--the neighbor spoke about his unhappiness over our plan to operate a B & B.  He was told to keep to the question.  Another person told the HPC committee to "tear that thing down".   Two other individuals turned up to support the nomination, which was a very nice surprise as we did not try to recruit anyone on this. Needless to say, the committee voted to give the property protected status for one year while they conduct the official study.

Since the petition was part of the public record, we now know who the folks are who may not be supportive down the line.  We intend to contact each individual and try to address concerns prior to the rezoning hearing.

We've basically let the neighbor cool his heels while we've been on vacation, but will need to try with him again.  Wish us luck!

 

 

 

 

domestique's picture
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Aack, still not working!!

domestique's picture
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Sorry, will do better I promise!   When I tried to do paragraphs the first time the text repeated itself from line to line like some sort of demented typewriter unleashed.   Two crisp $50's will do!      

 

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I will pay you $100 if you can break your posts into smaller paragraphs (even though you are writing about the same subject) I can't read long posts in one chunk like that.  Please.  

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YellowSocks's picture
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Eyesore vs. Meticulously Maintained B&B...  no contest!

=)
Kk.

egoodell's picture
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 You might point out that a B&B will be quieter than a family with a gaggle of kids....and check with PAII as they may have studies that you can use that have been used before.

Riki

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Or they could get neighbors like we had in Illinois - one house had 9 kids, 2 dogs (one was a noisy,vicious biter - I walked to a house behind me via the sidewalk to go past this house and the dog bit me, a month later it still had not healed but was worth it because it got the cops and the dog off the street so kids were safe), and 3 cars and the other one across the street had 2 families and it was later discovered sleeping mats covering every bit of floor space. One daughter came home from school to find a man sitting on our porch who turned out to be drug enforcement observing a townhouse across the street - a couple months later there was a 2 AM raid. But NEVER should there be a bed & breakfast as a "commercial enterprise" next door. Uh-huh.....

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There was also this line:

 “The outcry was that by having a business in residential we’re taking away from what residential actually is,” she added.

 

I thought how this is handled would be helpful.

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 I just saw this inn the news and thought of your post here:

Cody Police Department can't escort bikers?
Cody Enterprise
She reminded members of protests during discussion of allowing bed and breakfast inns to operate in residential areas without requiring the owner to live in ...

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Thank you for this link. It just so happens that the first B & Bs to join the nationwide effort of the Thank You Veterans Project were the members of the Cody County Bed & Breakfast Association - something I was able to make the reporter aware of thanks to you. Perhaps it will give them some good press.

domestique's picture
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03/30/2010

Interesting.  Well it is true that most people don't like change, even when it's for the better!  Our code requires that the B & B is owner-occupied, so at least we can assure people that someone will be there at 2am in case of fire.  Not sure they could wake ME though!  Late night emergencies fall under DH's job description.

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06/24/2008

As Gillum has stated, she most likely does not know what a B&B is.  We had this experience with a couple of people back when we asked for rezoning.  Some people really think of this as a hotel with loud noises at all hours of the day and night, abundance of cars coming and going creating traffic problems, and strangers (heaven forbid) in the neighborhood reducing the safety of the area.  The list of what is going on in their heads is endless. 

I would contact your state B&B association for literature to provide to them.  They may also volunteer to be there to assist you with your meeting, and will be better versed to answer questions they may have.   Another place for assistance is PAii. 

In some ways your situation sound similar to ours as our B&B had been left abandoned for 3 years and was an eyesore for the area, reducing property values around it, and creating a place for area children to hide and do things their parents had no idea of (evidence was everywhere).  Once we were able to proved that we would be good neighbors and so would our guests, the problem worked itself out.  Today, those very same individuals that opposed us are now sending their visiting family and friends here to stay...a nice plug too.

Wish you the best of luck. 

domestique's picture
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03/30/2010

Wow, thanks so much for the speedy responses.  I'm not fast enough to reply to all just yet, so here is my blanket reply to you all.  We will try to anticipate the usual suspects of parking and strange people, noise, etc.  The funny thing is that this neighborhood is full of little businesses intermixed with residential and alot of people were surprised to learn the property was not already zoned multi-family since the house had operated that way for many, many years (along with others).  I attended the regions B & B conference and have been innsitting for the last year at several properties so I felt like we were preparing pretty well, and now this comes out of left field.  The house is a disaster and screams abandoned--I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to see it taken care of.  They were maybe hoping it would be torn down??  They are newcomers to the neighborhood though, and don't have the context of the house's history that the other folks do.  This is a neighborhood where people don't tend to move out, they just move around within!  In fact, we would only be moving a block and a half to the new property!  Thanks again, will mull this all over and prepare the battle plan!

 

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

the wife doesn't want to discuss it, the husband will.  so he will speak with you at this meeting ... she won't come?   hopefully, he will voice the wife's concerns so you will know what they are.

i would have all the answers i could come up with at the ready ... but i would be asking .... 'what concerns do you have?'   and not saying 'we have answers to all these possible concerns'  because you might be bringing up issues they hadn't thought of. 

objections i've personally heard when neighbors tried to get a variance to convert their big, beautiful, mostly empty elephant of a house are noise, parking, traffic, people and their cars coming and going at all hours, loss of privacy ... and the big one ... ''a business moving into the residential neighborhood will change the neighborhood forever. next thing you know, a pizza joint will move in.'' 

how close is their property?

 

Joey Camb's picture
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I would make a list of anything you can possibly think of they could object to and find a good anser to it for example -

1 - parking  - we would have space for them to park etc

People round us don't object to us at all as they have their friends and parents stay with us when they don't have space. B&B people tend to be quiet and well behaved its not like a hotel you just have to make sure they understand that. Fingers crossed love.

The Farmers Daughter's picture
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06/15/2009

I have been in your shoes. In my area, the local ordinace required me to post my intentions in the local paper and alert all property owners within 200 feet of my property line. A town meeting was scheduled and anyone with questions or concerns were to come to the meeting. All the town officials were there to answer any legal questions and I had to present my market plan followed by a question and answer period.

I had my fair share of neighbors come and express concern that my business would

A - bring transients into the area who may rape or exploit their children.

B - reckless motorists that would drag race up and down our streets.

C - signage that may cause traffic accidents

and my favorite

D - those who believe that a B & B is really just a brothel in disguise.

You must be prepared to put to rest any unrealistic qualms that will be brought to the table. Don't think they won't. Many people have no real idea what a bed and breakfast is, so its up to you to be pleasant, patient and informative. If you have an attorney, not a bad idea to bring them along.

 

 

 

 

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06/24/2008

D - those who believe that a B & B is really just a brothel in disguise.

Oh, I had that too.  UGH.  This was the hardest for us to deal with civilly as the few S@#$ stirrers were stating ugly things about our (then) 17 year old daughter in order to try to get others to fight against us.  People can be ugly and cruel!!!  It was with those statements that our council representative spoke to them in our behalf putting to bed (pun intended) those rumors. 

Joey Camb's picture
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about your daughter how completely awful. in the UK if you take less than 6 guests at a time you don't have to tell anyone  anything. And even if you are larger your neighbours are limited in what they can do.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Would she go to a B & B if she had a GC? Maybe she just does not know what a B & B really is? Just a thought thrown at the wall to see if it sticks....

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