Planning rules for neighbors

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Kathryn Roberson and Sherry Fronczak had asked for the Planning Commission for a Conditional Use Permit for one unit of tourist lodging at 3 Huckleberry Lane. Public comments overwhelmingly opposed the request at last week’s meeting.

Jennifer and Carl Veblen have lived nearby for 15 years. Jennifer Veblen said they specifically looked for a residential neighborhood when they moved here, not a neighborhood dominated by tourist lodging. She said the residents of Huckleberry Lane are mostly older and often walk on the street, which does not have sidewalks. Although the request only calls for one unit of tourist lodging, Veblen noted that it was an entire house, and renters might include multiple vehicles. She also said the owners do not have immediate plans to relocate to the area and could not exercise appropriate supervision.

Another neighbor, Bill Poague, said the owners should have the freedom to use their property as they see fit. The real estate agent for the property also spoke and said the owners would have a property management company oversee the rentals.

A letter and seven emails came in regarding the proposal, and all were opposed. Commissioner Ann Tandy-Sallee said, “I have to take into account our residents first.” Commissioner Jodi Breedlove agreed. “We need to leave places for people to live,” she said. “I feel like this would be a disservice to the people of the neighborhood.”

Commissioner Fergie Stewart, who lives in the area, said, “I would be very concerned as a resident and as a commissioner.”

“We’re supposed to look at the pattern of a neighborhood,” commissioner Tom Buford said.

The vote against granting the CUP was unanimous.

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