Zoning & Food Service for B&Bs

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richardgarrett7878

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Eatonton, GA
Hello Everyone,

We are new members. We've run a B&B in Eatonton GA for four years. We have a commercial kitchen, so are permitted to offer off-site catering. However, we would like to also offer catered events at the property- but our R-1 zoning does not permit this. We are looking for any other B&Bs that are zoned to offer food to non-lodging guests.

Thanks,
Richard
 

GoodScout

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Richard, depending on your town's zoning laws you may be able to apply for a variance to allow you to serve food. If you have a good relationship with the neighbors you are likely to get approval (especially if your town collects sales/meals taxes and could use the extra money!)

We have a good relationship without our neighbors because we never, never allow events to run past 10pm. They're all cool with that knowing the music will stop and people will clear out by then.
 
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I tend to ask for forgiveness rather than for permission, but that is easily done on my small mountain town.

We have built a good relationship with the Code Enforcement department (1 guy) and the Zoning and Planning Commission (3 guys, 1 whose done work for me).

It may not apply in your community, but we've built a solid reputation for supporting our local business community. That earns us some grace in most instances. In others I feign ignorance.
 

richardgarrett7878

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Richard, depending on your town's zoning laws you may be able to apply for a variance to allow you to serve food. If you have a good relationship with the neighbors you are likely to get approval (especially if your town collects sales/meals taxes and could use the extra money!)

We have a good relationship without our neighbors because we never, never allow events to run past 10pm. They're all cool with that knowing the music will stop and people will clear out by then.
Thanks for the response. To clarify, did you obtain a variance to serve food to non-lodging guests? We are looking for specific "variance" examples to help our local authorities see how others have done things.
 

richardgarrett7878

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I tend to ask for forgiveness rather than for permission, but that is easily done on my small mountain town.

We have built a good relationship with the Code Enforcement department (1 guy) and the Zoning and Planning Commission (3 guys, 1 whose done work for me).

It may not apply in your community, but we've built a solid reputation for supporting our local business community. That earns us some grace in most instances. In others I feign ignorance.
Thanks for your response. The "ask for forgiveness rather than permission" approach did work for us for a few years but an "anonymous complaint" (focused on zoning, not noise or anything else) persuaded the city to tell us to stop until we/they find a formal solution. Hence we're looking for cities/counties that have formally granted permission for a B&B to also serve good for non-lodging guests.
 

GoodScout

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In our case, our zoning already allows us to serve food to non-guests, as the zoning in our town for B&Bs and restaurants is the same.
 
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