“I love your idea and I think you’re a great person to do this. I just don’t think this is the proper place,” Councilman Rich Dippolito told John Wilson, who had applied for the rezoning necessary to transform his home into a four-unit bed and breakfast.
Wilson, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who is a cooking instructor at Roswell’s Barrington Hall, bought the house at 10485 Woodstock Road 10 years ago and has been living in it ever since. It sits on an acre of land in a residentially zoned area.
After talking with officials at Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Roswell Business Alliance, Wilson told council he believes there is a need for a bed and breakfast in Roswell. The proposed use would be low impact and not disrupt the neighborhood, he said.
But several people who live nearby, including some in the Oak Ridge subdivision, spoke to council opposing the rezoning.
Debbie Crawford presented an Oak Ridge petition with 69 signatures against the proposal.
The historic district, where commercial zoning is allowed, ends just around the corner from the intersection of Canton Street and Woodstock Road, she said.
“We do not want commercial creep coming any further than where it stops now at North Coleman (Road),” she said.
If this property is rezoned, others who own single family homes on Woodstock will want the same zoning, Crawford said. “Once you open it up for one, you have to open it up for more.”
Eric Shumaker said the rezoning would have a negative effect on the values of existing homes still used as residences by their owners. “When you change zoning like this it does have an impact on other properties.”
Council members said they liked the bed and breakfast concept and encouraged Wilson to think about opening one elsewhere in the city.
“I agree we could use some B and Bs,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans. “Unfortunately I don’t feel this is the spot to have one. This is right in the middle of a residential area. I just don’t see making this a commercial spot zoning.”