This city is back in the bed-and-breakfast business, beginning April 21.
City leaders voted this week to lift the moratorium on applications on that date when the new, updated B&B ordinance will go into effect.
They also decided how planning officials will determine how many and which of the neighbors will have a say in the prospect of having a B&B nearby.
Mayor Connie Moran was concerned that in small-lot neighborhoods, people living too far away would have a say.
The law says 60 percent of the neighbors within a 250-foot radius of the middle of the house that’s to be used as a B&B must not object.
The most recent and high-profile B&B applicants have been Scott and Trinity Walker on East Beach, who have had run-ins with their neighbors and problems with the old ordinance, under which they were eventually denied a permit. They continue to pursue a permit under that law.
Under the new ordinance there will be two ways to determine who has a say — people living on property that is 15 percent or more in the 250-foot radius and people on property along adjacent streets, but not those who are one street over.
If it sounds a little complicated, readers can see the memorandum drawn out on SunHerald.com.
The issue of sprinklers has come up in the B&B ordinance overhaul.
Here’s the city’s stance:
Walls in the rooms of a B&B have to be safe enough to allow a one-hour separation from a fire.
Many new homes have walls that are not built to those specifications. Even flame-retardant drywall might not be thick enough.
In order to have a one-hour separation, they would need 5/8-inch drywall, city building officials said.
So for some homes, a sprinkler system might be the least-expensive solution.
“Every house has to be assessed and analyzed individually,” building official Hilliard Fountain said.