Elissa Yount: Pay Attention Henderson

In the 40 years of living on Chavasse Ave. in the area of the historic Brodie Grove, we have had to go to the city time and time again to protect our residential neighborhood and each time the city re-thought and sided with the city residents who were invested in Henderson. But the fights continue.

Presently we are working to see that an ordinance providing for Bed & Breakfasts is written so that the quality of life for our neighborhood is not adversely impacted. The rest of the folks in Henderson need to pay attention because this Ordinance will allow a Bed & Breakfast in almost all zoning districts with a Special Use Permit. And, it goes without saying that the larger the house and yard, the better the prospects for a Bed & Breakfast.

After the public hearing Monday evening, the City Council wisely passed the Ordinance back to the Planning Board for corrections. Some corrections are needed. But, if I heard correctly, the Ordinance will not come up for another Public Hearing so you need to call your Council person now.

Room, guest limits, and bathrooms must be addressed specifically. Fire escapes and egress to each room must be spelled out in the ordinance and not left up to the fire code. Parking for both guests and employees must be ironed out as no one wants a parking lot in the front yard next to their home or cars parked along streets in residential neighborhoods. Lighting needs to be clarified as lighting that is “attached to the principal dwelling unit and any garage” could be any number of lights. The Ordinance must address a Bed & Breakfast that will operate as an events center.

It also appears that this Ordinance will allow rooming houses in all zoning districts and this is definitely not acceptable as rooming houses can have permanent residents and are not designed for the traveling public.

The city is not writing this Ordinance for just one possible owner and one Bed & Breakfast. This Ordinance will affect most neighborhoods in Henderson and it needs to be done right the first time.