The board turned down an application by Steve and Joy Hadden to rent out three guest rooms in their home at 214 S. Winter St., in the heart of Midway's old residential district.
The board accepted the argument of several neighbors of the Haddens, and a lawyer for their next-door neighbor, that a bed-and-breakfast would be "the intrusion of a commercial property into a residential neighborhood," as neighbor Jo Blease put it.
Hank Graddy of Midway, attorney for next-door neighbor Betty Lehman Feagin, told the board, "People are investing in it as residential and they want to keep it residential." With a bed-and-breakfast, "One couple makes money, but everybody around them loses privacy and loses security."
|Steve Hadden spoke to the board as wife Joy, right, listened.|
Opponents included former city council member Sharon Turner,
left, attorney Hank Graddy and his client, Betty Lehman Feagin.
The Haddens' neighbors said they didn't like the idea of "people we've never laid eyes on before" next door, as Loretta Wethington put it. Blease told them, "You're not vetting those people for who they are." She said Midway is more than the historic downtown, and "If you do this you are really going to deteriorate what makes Midway Midway."
Opponents also raised concerns about traffic, saying guests unfamiliar with Midway would have trouble entering and leaving the Hadden lot, and about drainage, saying more paving on the lot would worsen stormwater problems. The Haddens said they would not add more pavement.
Joy Hadden said they did not plan to not put a sign on the house, and would rent rooms mainly for special events and only nine months a year, but her backyard neighbor, Mike Hagan, suggested that bed-and-breakfasts would undermine Midway's authenticity.
Noting that there are already two B-and-Bs on Winter Street, he said, "I don't want us to turn into the Cracker Barrel motif. . . . If we change the basic character all over Midway, with that Cracker Barrel motif, we're not going to be a nice place to live."
Board Member Al Schooler said he didn't think the B-and-B would cause drainage or traffic problems, but "I do have an issue with the integrity of the neighborhood." He moved to deny the application, and his motion passed 4-1, with Frank Stark dissenting. Hadden and his neighbors talked courteously with each other after the meeting.
The Hadden property is at the center of this Google map, marked with an asterisk. (Google identifies South Winter Street as Versailles Road.)