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Hi guys,
I'm new here. I've been studying each post on this forum for two months now. I still have 10 more pages to go!
I just signed up today because I needed advice.
I'm planning to open a tourist house, which is different from a B&B, but we're calling it that since it's the only thing people seem to be familliar with around here. Plus, we hate the term "trasient housing". Somewhere down the line it is our hope to eventually evolve into a full fledge B&B. Anyway, everyone in the forum seems to agree that aspirings must make sure zoning is in their favor before doing anything. Well, I thought I didn't have to worry because I was told by the realtor the property was properly zoned. However, today I called the city's zoning board to confirm and was told the realtor lied (or maybe he was misinformed?). When I asked about applying for it I was told, "Yes, but you're not going to get it." CLICK.

My city is the worst to deal with regarding anything but I'm still moving forward. If I have to apply for a special use permit then that's what I'll do. The property is perfect for my needs. If I have to go through the whole process of presenting to city council and all that good stuff I'm fine with that too. The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use. We'd be on the main road and the only neighbor would be the medical center next door and I doubt they'd protest our plans. Any tips on how to keep your cool when dealing with corrupt and uncooperative folks? I'm willing to work with people but not fight with them. I'd hate to be viewed as the bad guy when all I'm trying to do is open an honest business and contribute to the community. Thanks!
 

Morticia

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Ouch. Well, if you're set on continuing, you need to go to a couple of these meetings in advance of your actual presentation. You need to see who is the 'bad guy' and what their sticking points are. Then you tailor your presentation to answer every challenge that may be brought up. Get the neighboring businesses/residents in line and have them attend to back up your proposal. Make sure you are ready to counter any 'house of ill repute' messages that may get lobbed at you. Along with 'undesirable element, excessive traffic, people we don't know coming into our town to steal our children and rape our women' sentiments that MANY B&B startups have heard. (You want to read the 'INN the News' section for those stories.)
You need data from your state on how much revenue you will be bringing into the town in the form of lodging taxes, tourists shopping and dining, business people staying over for meetings.
Are there any other lodging properties in town at all? Go to the town hall and read their info to see what THEY went thru to open. We read the file on our inn to see what the meetings focused on...outside lighting was a biggie, along with signage.
For any other aspirings reading this...NEVER, EVER, NEVER believe what the person who stands to make money off you tells you. ALWAYS go to the horse's mouth and then disbelieve half of what that person tells you. Get everything in writing. Luckily, no one here at the town hall lied to us and it was relatively smooth sailing as far as the town went.
 

gillumhouse

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The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use
If the neighborhood is mixed use, what is the problem? You would be commercial......
As for how to deal with them, smile, say thank you a lot, and ask for the regs in writing so you "can refer to them to better comply".
 

Morticia

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What Gillum House said...smile. AND, we have found that if you ASK for assistance in the planning stages, you may find someone who really does want you to succeed.
Everytime a new 'official' came to the door to check whatever we said, 'We're hoping you can help us be better at this. Please tell us where we can improve.' Almost every single person said that everything was in order. We are guessing that would not have been the case had we snarled.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Welcome!
Are you speaking of a boarding house? I am not familiar with the other term. A guest house?
 

Morticia

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Welcome!
Are you speaking of a boarding house? I am not familiar with the other term. A guest house?.
To me, guest house means unhosted.
.
gillumhouse said:
To me, guest house means unhosted.
Self-catering or housekeeping units. My friend has a 'guest house' because she cannot serve a hot breakfast, which she explains when she gets calls. Otherwise, she'd be a B&B. She DOES serve a cold breakfast, but cannot cook for guests. Her take is that a B&B serves a HOT brekkie so she says she's a 'guest house'.
 

happyjacks

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Welcome!
Are you speaking of a boarding house? I am not familiar with the other term. A guest house?.
To me, guest house means unhosted.
.
gillumhouse said:
To me, guest house means unhosted.
Self-catering or housekeeping units. My friend has a 'guest house' because she cannot serve a hot breakfast, which she explains when she gets calls. Otherwise, she'd be a B&B. She DOES serve a cold breakfast, but cannot cook for guests. Her take is that a B&B serves a HOT brekkie so she says she's a 'guest house'.
.
The original poster mentioned 'tourist house', which makes me think 'hostel'.
 
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Welcome!
Are you speaking of a boarding house? I am not familiar with the other term. A guest house?.
To me, guest house means unhosted.
.
gillumhouse said:
To me, guest house means unhosted.
Self-catering or housekeeping units. My friend has a 'guest house' because she cannot serve a hot breakfast, which she explains when she gets calls. Otherwise, she'd be a B&B. She DOES serve a cold breakfast, but cannot cook for guests. Her take is that a B&B serves a HOT brekkie so she says she's a 'guest house'.
.
The original poster mentioned 'tourist house', which makes me think 'hostel'.
.
Hi happyjacks,
You're one smart cookie!

 

happyjacks

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Welcome!
Are you speaking of a boarding house? I am not familiar with the other term. A guest house?.
To me, guest house means unhosted.
.
gillumhouse said:
To me, guest house means unhosted.
Self-catering or housekeeping units. My friend has a 'guest house' because she cannot serve a hot breakfast, which she explains when she gets calls. Otherwise, she'd be a B&B. She DOES serve a cold breakfast, but cannot cook for guests. Her take is that a B&B serves a HOT brekkie so she says she's a 'guest house'.
.
The original poster mentioned 'tourist house', which makes me think 'hostel'.
.
Hi happyjacks,
You're one smart cookie!

.
Hi Fountainrunner, can I ask where are you located? I would expect a hostel in a busy tourist town.
 
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The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use
If the neighborhood is mixed use, what is the problem? You would be commercial......
As for how to deal with them, smile, say thank you a lot, and ask for the regs in writing so you "can refer to them to better comply"..
gillumhouse said:
The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use
If the neighborhood is mixed use, what is the problem? You would be commercial......
I agree, that's why I don't understand the negative attitude of everyone so far at the shear mention of my plans. The only thing on this block is the house and the medical center. On the next block over you have a Bank of America, a gas station and Walgreens. This isn't some small quiet residential neighborhood - it's high traffic. I don't get it.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Hostel does have negative connotations. Sorry. Typically backpackers, drugs and 'hook ups' is the common misconception or conception depending on where it is.
It could have nothing to do with the neighborhood, it may just be the entire town/city itself does not want one and that is the card they are playing.
 

Morticia

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The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use
If the neighborhood is mixed use, what is the problem? You would be commercial......
As for how to deal with them, smile, say thank you a lot, and ask for the regs in writing so you "can refer to them to better comply"..
gillumhouse said:
The neighborhood is mixed residential / commercial use
If the neighborhood is mixed use, what is the problem? You would be commercial......
I agree, that's why I don't understand the negative attitude of everyone so far at the shear mention of my plans. The only thing on this block is the house and the medical center. On the next block over you have a Bank of America, a gas station and Walgreens. This isn't some small quiet residential neighborhood - it's high traffic. I don't get it.
.
If you are going to be running a hostel, there's your negative attitude right there. For many, a hostel means lots of young, rough kids, almost homeless people if you will. Band groupies, etc.
This will not bring big tax dollars to your town and my guess is that many will look at it more as a potential source of problems than a potential source of revenue.
My daughter stayed at hostels in France. Usually less than $10/night. So, for one thing, there's no money to be made in this unless the building is already paid for. You might want to think about just doing an ad on 'airbed and breakfast' to see if there are any takers for this biz in your town.
 
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Ouch. Well, if you're set on continuing, you need to go to a couple of these meetings in advance of your actual presentation. You need to see who is the 'bad guy' and what their sticking points are. Then you tailor your presentation to answer every challenge that may be brought up. Get the neighboring businesses/residents in line and have them attend to back up your proposal. Make sure you are ready to counter any 'house of ill repute' messages that may get lobbed at you. Along with 'undesirable element, excessive traffic, people we don't know coming into our town to steal our children and rape our women' sentiments that MANY B&B startups have heard. (You want to read the 'INN the News' section for those stories.)
You need data from your state on how much revenue you will be bringing into the town in the form of lodging taxes, tourists shopping and dining, business people staying over for meetings.
Are there any other lodging properties in town at all? Go to the town hall and read their info to see what THEY went thru to open. We read the file on our inn to see what the meetings focused on...outside lighting was a biggie, along with signage.
For any other aspirings reading this...NEVER, EVER, NEVER believe what the person who stands to make money off you tells you. ALWAYS go to the horse's mouth and then disbelieve half of what that person tells you. Get everything in writing. Luckily, no one here at the town hall lied to us and it was relatively smooth sailing as far as the town went..
Bree said:
Along with 'undesirable element, excessive traffic, people we don't know coming into our town to steal our children and rape our women' sentiments that MANY B&B startups have heard. (You want to read the 'INN the News' section for those stories.)
Are there any other lodging properties in town at all? Go to the town hall and read their info to see what THEY went thru to open. We read the file on our inn to see what the meetings focused on...outside lighting was a biggie, along with signage.
Hi Bree,
1) If anyone should be concerned it should be US not the neighborhood. The location is a block away from the bad section of town. They'd be hard pressed to paint my clientele as 'undesirables' when they have city drug dealers and criminals literally a stone's throw away. I'll be the one bringing in good folks and having to worry about their safety.

2) Yes, there is a guesthouse. Two bedrooms out of someone's tiny cramped house. It looks so uncomfortable. I'm not sure how they got approved. Also, the university down the street has apartment suites for rent, which they refer to as a hotel. I believe it's geared to foreign students attending the school since it's attached and looks like dorm room housing.
3) It's frustrating to be told to forget about ever getting approval to turn a single-family residence into a business when I can walk down the street and see doctor's offices, daycare centers and senior centers run out of them. How did they ALL get approval? Makes no sense for people to tell me no and the neighborhood show me it can be done. Again, I don't get it. Wish me luck.
 

Morticia

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Ouch. Well, if you're set on continuing, you need to go to a couple of these meetings in advance of your actual presentation. You need to see who is the 'bad guy' and what their sticking points are. Then you tailor your presentation to answer every challenge that may be brought up. Get the neighboring businesses/residents in line and have them attend to back up your proposal. Make sure you are ready to counter any 'house of ill repute' messages that may get lobbed at you. Along with 'undesirable element, excessive traffic, people we don't know coming into our town to steal our children and rape our women' sentiments that MANY B&B startups have heard. (You want to read the 'INN the News' section for those stories.)
You need data from your state on how much revenue you will be bringing into the town in the form of lodging taxes, tourists shopping and dining, business people staying over for meetings.
Are there any other lodging properties in town at all? Go to the town hall and read their info to see what THEY went thru to open. We read the file on our inn to see what the meetings focused on...outside lighting was a biggie, along with signage.
For any other aspirings reading this...NEVER, EVER, NEVER believe what the person who stands to make money off you tells you. ALWAYS go to the horse's mouth and then disbelieve half of what that person tells you. Get everything in writing. Luckily, no one here at the town hall lied to us and it was relatively smooth sailing as far as the town went..
Bree said:
Along with 'undesirable element, excessive traffic, people we don't know coming into our town to steal our children and rape our women' sentiments that MANY B&B startups have heard. (You want to read the 'INN the News' section for those stories.)
Are there any other lodging properties in town at all? Go to the town hall and read their info to see what THEY went thru to open. We read the file on our inn to see what the meetings focused on...outside lighting was a biggie, along with signage.
Hi Bree,
1) If anyone should be concerned it should be US not the neighborhood. The location is a block away from the bad section of town. They'd be hard pressed to paint my clientele as 'undesirables' when they have city drug dealers and criminals literally a stone's throw away. I'll be the one bringing in good folks and having to worry about their safety.

2) Yes, there is a guesthouse. Two bedrooms out of someone's tiny cramped house. It looks so uncomfortable. I'm not sure how they got approved. Also, the university down the street has apartment suites for rent, which they refer to as a hotel. I believe it's geared to foreign students attending the school since it's attached and looks like dorm room housing.
3) It's frustrating to be told to forget about ever getting approval to turn a single-family residence into a business when I can walk down the street and see doctor's offices, daycare centers and senior centers run out of them. How did they ALL get approval? Makes no sense for people to tell me no and the neighborhood show me it can be done. Again, I don't get it. Wish me luck.
.
Go ask them all how they got approved! If there are already businesses being run out of homes/converted homes, then ask them how they did it. Keep in mind that if you do get approval and no changes are made with the undesirable section nearby, that's what will probably show up in online reviews...nice place, terrible neighborhood. Will you be able to provide off-street parking?
 

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