Salem, On November 2, 2010,

Vote YES for B&Bs

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Bed & Breakfasts:
 

Provide guest lodging in private, owner-occupied homes. Each location has unique accommodations.

Bring revenue to the City through both taxes and dollars spent by travelers.
 
Do not cost the City money since B&Bs must pay application and annual fees.
 
 
Maintain historic neighborhoods. In the 20th century, Salem had several tourist homes on main streets.
 
 
 
 
Generally increase property values since owners maintain and improve their homes to attract guests.
 
 
 
Are a low-impact service that operates  within the footprint of existing buildings in residential areas.
 
 
Must follow all regulations for residences as well as lighting, signage, parking, and activity restrictions.
 
 
Are less invasive than other permitted conditional uses in single family neighborhoods






 
 
City regulations have been written to require that B&Bs would have to be owned and occupied by the individual applying for the the conditional use permit. Just as no two homes are the same, no two B&Bs are the same. In addition to the furnishings, part of the charm of staying at a B&B is the personality and hospitality of the owner.
 
Research from the travel industry shows that visitors spend their money in close proximity to the location they stay. Having lodging in the City of Salem will generate lodging tax as well as money spent locally on food, attractions, and other amenities.
 
Application fees cover the initial inspection of a prospective B&B to ensure that a safe environment would be provided for guests. The City has proposed a $150 annual license fee to cover incremental administrative costs. It is noteworthy that no other businesses are required to pay similar fees to operate within the City. Rental property owners are currently charged a $15 annual occupancy license fee.
 
In the 1900's, tourist or guest homes served as the precursors to B&Bs. Owners took in overnight travelers for a fee and provided a meal as part of the stay. There were at least two tourist homes on the upper side of East State Street. This option went out of fashion when motels became popular in the 40's and 50's. Recent interest in more personal and unique lodging has fueled the resurgence of B&Bs. The Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association estimates that there are over 500 B&Bs in Ohio alone. Many are in historic homes. Most are in residential neighborhoods.
 
B&B owners depend upon the quality of their home to attract guests. They invest greater than average amounts of money to preserve and improve both the structure and grounds. This has a positive impact on neighboring properties. Our Committee analyzed property assessments in Columbiana and other NE Ohio Counties for existing B&Bs and their contiguous properties. We found that property values kept pace with market values in general. This information is available on another page. More details are available to the public at respective County Auditor websites. 
 
Because B&Bs generally operate in existing homes, they preserve the character of neighborhoods. While there are instances of larger or new construction to house B&Bs, any facility that accepts more than 16 guests is considered a hotel or inn and would be treated as a commercial facility. The City of Salem is planning to limit the size of B&Bs and require that they be in owner-occupied homes.
 
There are already City ordinances in place for noise and public nuisance. Everyone, including B&B owners and their guests, must follow them. Additionally, any other regulations specific to B&Bs like lighting, signage, parking and limitations on activities, would also be monitored. Various committees of the City and Council have been working on regulations for over a year to preserve the rights of property owners - both B&B applicants and their neighbors.
 
Review the list of conditional uses that are already permitted in the ordinance for RS-2 and RS-3 areas. Consider which is a more desirable use for a neighboring property - a B&B or one of the other permitted uses.