2017-04-19 / Front Page

Proposed Delphi B&B gets conditional go-ahead

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

The Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals was two members short at a special meeting April 13 to discuss a request for a special exception to allow a Bed and Breakfast business to operate in a residential area in the City of Delphi. Members Steve May, who was appointed by the school corporations, Everett Snoeberger, appointed by the Town of Camden, and County Commissioners appointee Teresa Maxwell heard from Beverly Seese about her plans to establish the business in a house on North St. which has been vacant for roughly a year.

Seese explained there would be four guest rooms with the current 2.5 baths and an addition of another 1.5 baths. Seese said she would be able to park four vehicles in garages and another five on a concrete pad, which is located on the east side of the house. Maxwell commented there is also “plenty of onstreet parking” for Seese’s guests.

Area Plan Commission (APC) Zoning Administrator Doug Wagner said on-street parking is not allowed for the bed and breakfast per the ordinance.

The use of a driveway owned by neighbors Tom and Mary Ives became the point of contention in the matter. Tom Ives disagreed when Seese told BZA members there is an agreement with the Ives for her to use their driveway. BZA attorney Cindy Harmon, who was unable to be present at the meeting, sent a letter in which she stated there was an agreement for shared use of the driveway between the Ives and their neighbors, however that agreement “was based on single occupancy housing.”

“If the special exception is granted, the use will likely change dramatically and the potential liability to the Ives will unfairly increase, as will the maintenance needs,” Harmon wrote to the BZA members.

Harmon also noted in viewing the property on the county’s GIS database, parking “appears to be somewhat limited for the proposed needs of the bed and breakfast.”

“I don’t want what Mrs. Seese is thinking of doing,” Tom Ives told BZA members. “I have a concern about the driveway we own.”

Ives said he and his wife are also concerned about the one person Seese must employ to stay in the business because she, Seese, will not be living there. Maxwell asked why Ives would say Seese would have someone there fulltime, to which Ives replied, “from the ordinance.” Maxwell said she had not read the ordinance.

Ives also stated he believes the resale value of the home will be diminished if there is a business next door.

Local resident Bill Schooler said the bed and breakfast is needed because the Delphi Opera House customers sometimes need lodging. He said there is no lodging currently in Delphi and noted that when the need has arisen in the past, former Delphi Community Development Director Kevin Kologinsky would lodge Opera House patrons overnight.

Seese said there is room on her property for a separate driveway, however she said she does not believe her customers would bother the Ives. She said she also predicts that with the lodging option, Delphi tourism would increase and help support the city coffers.

Although Maxwell stated the bed and breakfast would not affect the Ives enjoyment of their property, Snoeberger disagreed.

“I think Mr. Ives’ opinion should be heard,” Snoeberger said.

The BZA decided to approve the request for a special exception with the qualification that Seese and the Ives reach an agreement about the shared driveway issue or Seese put in a new driveway for her use.

Wagner told the Comet after the meeting Seese will be required to obtain an improvement location permit, which will require her to obtain a drainage review from the county surveyor and reviews from the Delphi City Water and Wastewater departments before proceeding.

The next BZA meeting will be April 25 at 8 p.m.

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