City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that allows any historic home in Sierra Madre, like the at 225 North Lima St., to be turned into a bed and breakfast inn.
The decision comes less than one week after the to operate as a bed and breakfast.
Neighbors concerned that other historic homes will follow suit
Resident Stephen Knight, who lives across the street from a historic landmark home, fears that the Pinney House's CUP opens up an opportunity for similar properties to do the same.
“I don’t like the prospect of potentially living across from a hotel,” Knight said. Knight asked the Council to consider continuing this item as he didn’t feel residents were aware of the implications this could have on the community.
Resident Heather Allen agreed with Knight’s concerns.
“I think that people who buy a home and live in Sierra Madre in a quiet residential area deserve to have that quiet,” Allen said. “I don’t think you should put a bed and breakfast in a residential area.”
There are 36 properties listed as historical sites in Sierra Madre, but it doesn’t mean it will be an easy task for any of these properties to become bed and breakfasts.
Getting a bed and breakfast permit will be challenging
Director of Development Services Danny Castro noted some of the strict requirements for a historical property to serve as a bed and breakfast.
The application for the CUP and noticing fees alone totals approximately $3,000. It's also required that on-site parking be available to adequately serve all guests. In addition, there is a 14-day appeal period allowing any residents who have objections to be heard. If there are appeals, then the process would be brought before City Council for final approval or decline.
Also, bed and breakfast operation would be monitored over the first year and, if there were issues impacting the surrounding residents, then it's possible for the CUP to be revoked.
“Now that we’ve done this, I don’t believe there will be a rush to the floodgate here to start a bed and breakfast,” said Councilmember John Capoccia. “There are a lot of conditions that have to be met.”
Mayor Josh Moran agreed with Capoccia. “I think that the planning process and the CUP process has built in so many safety-release mechanisms. It’s going to be incredibly difficult for anyone who owns a historical home to open up a bed and breakfast,” Moran said.
What will Sierra Madre bed & breakfasts look like?
According to the ordinance, a bed and breakfast must be a converted single family historic home, can have up to six guest rooms, and can include a kitchen to prepare food and drinks. It must be compatible with the neighborhood and retain the integrity of its historic architecture. To read the full ordinance, see the attached document.