Board denies request to open B&B in Midway
The Board of Adjustment (BOA) denied a request to open a bed and breakfast in Midway after listening to the concerns of neighboring property owners during a public hearing on Monday. In making his motion to deny the conditional-use permit, BOA member Al Schooler said he agreed with the neighbors that allowing a business to operate in a residential area would intrude upon the integrity of the neighborhood. The BOA denied Stephen and Joy Hadden's request for a conditional-use permit to operate the B&B in their home at 214 South Winter Street by a 4 to 1 vote, with Frank Stark voting against the motion. In requesting the permit, Stephen Hadden said opening a B&B/inn would provide him and his wife, who reduced the number of guestrooms in their request from five to three prior to Monday's hearing, with additional income for their retirement years. He said opening a B&B/inn was also an opportunity to provide overnight accommodations to a growing number of visitors coming to Midway and Woodford County for many various reasons. "I think that people will love being centrally located to the downtown area," said Joy Hadden. "There's just something about being close to town when you don't have to drive. You can just walk downtown to restaurants and walk back to your bed and breakfast." Neighboring property owners voiced a few concerns with the proposal to open a B&B in their neighborhood. One of their objections to the request was allowing a business to operate in the heart of an established residential area of Midway. "If commercial activity is allowed in this residential area - the consequence is that one couple makes money, but everybody around them loses privacy and loses security," said Hank Graddy, an attorney representing a neighboring property owner. "I do not want to have a commercial business in my neighborhood," said Jo Blease. Another neighbor, Sharon Turner, urged BOA members to maintain the integrity of this residential area because once a business is allowed to locate in a neighborhood "it's changed forever," she said. Other concerns raised by neighbors were described as non-issues when Schooler made his motion to deny the request for a conditional-use permit. Stephen and Joy Hadden did not propose to increase parking areas on their residential property so flooding problems will not be exacerbated, and three overnight guests will not cause "a traffic jam on South Winter Street," said Schooler before making his motion. Graddy, who lives in Midway, had argued that dangerous traffic conditions in that stretch of South Winter Street where the B&B was being proposed should be an important consideration in denying the request. "Adding more visitors to exit onto South Winter - in the stretch between Stephens and Higgins (streets) - is aggravating an existing traffic safety problem," he said. While Stephen Hadden did agree with the traffic concern, he said, "A lot of it is largely related to speed. People do not obey the speed limit when they come into town" on U.S. 62, which then becomes South Winter Street. Wooldridge variances The BOA unanimously approved three variances that allow Anderson Wooldridge, LLC, (Dennis Anderson), to construct 23 more homes in the Wooldridge Garden neighborhood along Falling Springs Boulevard. The variance allows the developer to vary distances and building setbacks for front porches and windows, while still following new urban code design guidelines when building the 23 homes. A total of 80 homes were planned during this phase of the Anderson Wooldridge project. Over 70 percent of those homes (57) have been built or are being built.