Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plan Commission Approves B&B

The Woodstock Plan Commission held a meeting and public hearing tonight for a special use permit for the proposed Royal Victorian Manor bed-and-breakfast at 344 Fremont Street, popularly known locally as the Groundhog Day House (or the Cherry Street Inn from the movie, Groundhog Day).

Woodstock attorney Michael McNerney presented the plan to the Commission and introduced future innkeepers Everton Martin and Karla Stewart-Martin, a wonderful couple currently residing in River Falls, Wisconsin. They will be resident innkeepers in this owner-occupied B&B.

Extensive renovations will be made, along with rebuilding of chimneys. Thanks to positive changes made in the City Code after the last B&B was approved, the Martins will not be required to install a commercial-grade fire suppression system. A sprinkler system will be installed, but it will operate off the domestic water supply to the house.

Other questions of the Commissioners pertained to food to be served (breakfast prepared in-house; other meals to be catered in, in compliance with State Health Codes); parking [five spaces (one for each guest room) and screened so as to be hardly noticeable]; occasional other use; and estimated opening date.

The Martins were originally hoping to open in time for the 2009 Groundhog Day festivities, but the likely opening will be summer or fall, 2009. Three residents of the immediate neighborhood spoke in favor of granting the special use permit, and the Commission voted unanimously to approve the permit and forward its recommendation to the City Council.

Welcome to Woodstock, Mr. and Mrs. Martin!

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