Ironton Council to host public hearing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Public opinion may be the deciding factor in whether or not bed and breakfast establishments are allowed in Ironton's residential neighborhoods.

The Ironton Planning Commission will host a public hearing at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Ironton City Center to discuss the recent hot topic.

If the planning commission approves the proposed ordinance

Email newsletter signup

permitting bed and breakfasts, then the Ironton City Council can pass it with a simple majority. If the committee does not approve it, Council would require six of seven votes to adopt the ordinance.

The planning commission consists of Ralph Huff Jr., Bill Dickens, Mayor Bob Cleary, Council Chairman Jesse Roberts and Elwood Wilson.

The only lodging within the city has been the Lyle Motel, 1515 S. Third St., since the Sheridan Inn closed two years ago.

Although the majority of Council supports the principal behind the ordinance, an ongoing discussion over the specifics of the restrictions has caused it to be amended three times.

The restrictions include that 60 percent of the adjacent property owners must agree, sufficient rooms and off-street parking must be available, the occupancy must be short-term, the owner must purchase a non-transferable, $500 annual license and must also live in the home and operate it.

The first amendment, made by Councilman Richard Price, dictated that signs must be commercial grade, cannot be illuminated and must meet other city codes. In November, it was amended by Councilmen John Elam and Jim Tordiff to allow only one bed and breakfast within a six-block radius.

In January, it was amended by Price to say that all licenses must be renewed in January, the yearly cost will be prorated down if licenses are purchased after the first four months of the year, and all proceeds from licenses will go to the city's general fund. The amended version has been heard twice but must pass three full readings in its amended form by Council.

Roberts originally proposed the ordinance last year but said he cannot support it because the six-block radius amendment unfairly restricts this type of business compared to others.

Elam said the purpose was to ensure that a bed and breakfast did not pop up every block and become a detriment to the neighborhoods.