Virginia Arandall is concerned that a bed and breakfast and special events venue could be approved in her neighborhood. But she is not alone. Other residents in her neighborhood, off Hopkins Road in the in Meadowbrook area, are also concerned.
Residents of the Windy Oaks Lane/Sunbeam Road neighborhood are supportive of the owners of the Edgewood House winning historic designation and the use of the house as a bed and breakfast, but it is the special events operation the group of neighbors opposes.
“We’re not so upset about the concept, it’s just the special events part that they are trying to put in,” Ms. Arandall said. “I don’t want to be a bad neighbor, but if the planning commission approved this, it would be a spot zoning.” The proposed bed and breakfast and special events venue sits in a residentially zoned area, and those living around the proposed facility feel it is a commercial endeavor.
Parking is also an issue for those who live near the proposed special events business. Initially, the conditional use application proposed hosting 100 people at events but the applicants, John and Ruth Vest, reduced the number of guests for any one wedding, reception, meeting or general special event to 50. Still that presents a problem for the neighborhood, according to those representing the quiet neighborhood.
Arandall said that, if she were going to a party at the Edgewood house, she would park her car where she could leave when she got ready. That means vehicles would park on adjacent streets, which would clog neighborhood streets. “There are houses right behind them [proposed venue], and even though they say they will have valet parking,” she says they will bring them behind the house to park them.
Jody Rogers, who lives in the subdivision that runs behind the Edgewood property, agrees with Arandall, that the concept of a special events venue is not something anyone would want in their neighborhood.
“I have worked in hospitality for 26 years and I have seen special events get out of hand. Even when you have the facilities and staff to take care of it, which I think he is not prepared to have either, and I don’t think it’s a good fit for our neighborhood,” Mr. Rogers said.
The proffers (promises) say the special events can accommodate up to 50 people, and that the lot would accommodate 30 plus cars. Rogers said she thinks his schematic is off. “He’s drawn parking on more space than he has in reality, but even if he could put the number of cars he is imagining, the logistics for getting cars in and out will not work. I live right behind him on the cul-de-sac, and, when they throw an event, I don’t think people will take advantage of the valet and will park in my cul-de-sac and we will not be able to get out.”
The District Planning Commissioner, the applicants and staff attended a community meeting at Meadowdale Library, which was well attended by the neighborhood.
The case for the historic designation and bed and breakfast/special events venue will be considered by the Chesterfield Planning Commission on Tuesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. in the public meeting room at the county complex. The Board of Supervisors will hear the case the following evening at the same location at 6:30 p.m.