By Sean Tubbs
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Albemarle Planning Commission
has voted 4-2 to recommend zoning changes to facilitate the opening of more bed and breakfasts in the county’s rural areas.
Albemarle’s zoning code currently allows property owners to open up to five rooms to overnight visitors as a by-right use, but they must either live in the structure or hire an on-site manager.
“Someone has to reside within that building,” said Amelia McCulley, the county’s director of planning.
One of the changes recommended for approval is that the property owner or manager could live elsewhere on the property but must still be present.
Under current rules, rooms cannot be located in secondary structures on the property.
“Sometimes there are rooms spread through the property in convenient locations, such as old barns and apartments above garages,” McCulley said.
If the zoning code change is adopted by the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, rooms could be opened on any structure that meets the building code for dwelling units.
“Any structure used as a guest use still requires all the building and safety approvals,” McCulley said. “Not every barn and accessory structure can be reasonably or feasibly converted into a guest room and any that are would have to meet regulations.”