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Questions raised about ‘inn’ vs. ‘B&B’

Plans for a business in Corolla hit a bit of snag and prompted a lengthy discussion at the Board of Commissioners’ first meeting this month.

The request that appeared on the board’s agenda was to change a ten bedroom inn to a 12 bedroom inn, located on 1.35 acres on Persimmon Street at the corner with Corolla Village Road.

However, Corolla citizen Scott Austin, a neighbor to the building, said that he was misled into thinking the business was going to be a bed and breakfast with on-site management, rather than an inn with no overnight management.

Planning director Laurie LoCicero explained that if the plan had been for a bed and breakfast, the property would not have to be rezoned, which it was in the initial request back in January 2014 when it was zoned to Conditional General Business. A bed and breakfast can be allowed in a single family residence in a residential zone, which the property was zoned prior to the conditional rezoning.

When a letter went out to adjoining property owners informing them of a community meeting about the project – which was sent from the project engineers – Austin noted the letter said the plan was for a bed and breakfast, which he did not oppose, nor did he oppose increasing the number of bedrooms. However, he did raise issue with having people in the inn/hotel with no on-site management to answer any issues that may come up with the guests in the middle of the night, and had a concern that the approval would open the door for other hotels to locate in the village.

Commissioner Marion Gilbert commented that the 2014 approval addressed the business as an inn and that it was an oversight in the letter that called it a bed and breakfast.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Cathleen Saunders with Quible and Associates, noted that no square footage was added to the building, but rather a redesign produced the two additional rooms, making the project more economically feasible. While there is not intended to be on-site management 24/7, there will be an emergency contact number available.

Hadley Twiddy, who said she will be running the inn, added that there are small quarters that could be used if necessary by a night manager and she doesn’t anticipate noise problems as there is no outdoor pool or outdoor sound system. Twiddy added that there is no kitchen in the inn, nor in the rooms, but she expects the rooms will have a small refrigerator and microwave.

LoCicero added that the county’s noise ordinance will apply as it does countywide.

Commissioner Mike Payment pointed out that the project is already approved and could go forward with the ten bedroom inn and commissioner Bob White commented that there is commercial in the village already and motioned to allow the 12-bedroom change, which was unanimously supported.

Another land use item on the agenda, a request to change the conditional zoning for a 16 unit multi-family development in Moyock by deleting the detached garages and adding attached garages for each unit and reorienting the buildings and infrastructure, was continued on a request by the applicant.

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