Inn at Court Square in downtown Charlottesville

The Charlottesville Planning Commission voted during their meeting on January 13, 2009 to recommend a new ordinance that would provide some clarity and precision to the City’s legal definition of a Bed and Breakfast. The discussion was precipitated by last year’s by-right acceptance of a 27-room lodging facility on Oakhurst Circle under the zoning category of a “Bed and Breakfast.” The new ordinance is intended to provide some objective criteria for these uses, particularly in residential neighborhoods throughout the city.


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The proposed ordinance will create a three-tiered system with the following options:

Bed and Breakfast “homestay”:

Bed and Breakfast:

Bed and Breakfast “Inn”:

In the Commission’s pre-meeting gathering, the fact that residents are already free to rent rooms from their homes without the B&B designation was discussed. The proposed ordinance will not add any new restrictions to homeowners who simply wish to rent rooms out of their house, even for long periods of time. In fact, as Commission Chairman Jason Pearson clarified, it would be technically possible to have certain rooms in a household considered as a Bed and Breakfast and others considered as a standard residential room rental.

The commissioners were in broad agreement on the motion, with a few exceptions. Commissioner Dan Rosensweig would have liked to see Bed and Breakfast “Inns” allowable not just in R2 zones, but also in R1 by Special Use Permit. However, this difference was not substantial enough to preclude his affirmative vote. The City zoning code defines both R1 and R2 as “quiet, low-density residential areas,” with the difference being that R2 zones allow a slightly broader variety of housing types. Commissioner Bill Emory, on the other hand, did vote against the proposal. He pointed out that 11 of the 12 commissioners and councilors actually live in R1 neighborhoods, and he inferred that it was unfair to subject residents in R2 zones to the possibility of a 15-room inn while forbidding it in their own neighborhoods.

The ordinance in its complete form will be presented to City Council at an upcoming meeting.

Daniel Nairn

TIMELINE FOR PODCAST

2:00 – Staff Ms. Walden introduces the proposed ordinance

8:30 – Commissioner Lewis questions how this would affect residential homestays

15:10 – Councilor Huja wants to know why B&Bs would be allowed in R2 zone; restaurant/B&B combinations

18:40 – Joyce Casmodic, B&B homestay director, speaks at public hearing

25:10 – Candice Sloan, B&B Innkeeper, speaks at public hearing, questioned by Commission

32:50 – Commissioner Keller asks about the use of signs in B&Bs

33:50 – The Difference between “B&B Inn” and “Hotel”

39:40 – Commissioner Farruggio wants to loosen some restrictions; expand stay times to 90 days, allow more meal service

49:20 – Commissioner Pearson praises this mix of uses in residential areas

51:10 – Commissioner Emory wants to allow possibility for inns in R1

59:40 – Commissioner Lewis requests room increase for homestays to three

1:05:00 – Motion made by Commissioner Farruggio

1:10:40 – Commissioner Osteen considers possibility of students moving in

1:15:55 – More discussion on Inns in R1 and R2.

1:21:05 – Motion passes; Emory only dissent.

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