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Rogersville addresses B&B, flea market inquiries with new ordinances

Jeff Bobo • Sep 13, 2017 at 5:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — In separate instances, Rogersville City Hall recently received inquiries about the possibility of opening a bed and breakfast as well as starting a flea market, only to learn there are no regulations on the books about either enterprise.

On Tuesday night, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen took a step toward solving that problem by approving the first of three required readings for both a B&B ordinance and a flea market ordinance.

The latter doesn’t exclude flea markets, but it significantly reduces the number of potential locations a flea market could be established within the city limits.

City Attorney Bill Phillips told the BMA that under the new ordinance flea markets would be limited to the B-1 (neighborhood business) district, but excluded from the Historic District as well as all of Main Street which is within the Gateway Overlay District.

Other restrictions include a minimum 20-foot setback from adjacent property lines for merchandise on sale; no adverse affects to adjacent properties such as noise, lighting or parking overflow; and all temporary structures such as tents, canopy frames, and tables must be removed or stored in a principal building when the flea market isn’t in operation.

Alderman Brian Hartness, who also sits on the Planning Commission, told the board, “There are very minimal places that meet these requirements for this to take place.”

He added, “We’re not going to have one of these things where you have tables sitting out all the time. They’re going to set it out each day, and then they have to take it down each night.”

The B&B ordinance requires those businesses to acquire a city permit and also sets out regulations related to the size of the property both inside and out, as well as parking, buffers between residential properties and the number of guests allowed.

“The board is aware that bed and breakfasts are springing up, and we didn’t have a provision in our zoning ordinance for bed and breakfasts in R-1 (low density) residential districts, which is where they’re found since they’re usually a residence or were at one time,” Phillips said. “This allows them to be located n R-1.”

Hartness noted that not just any homeowner can decide to open a bed and breakfast.

He said that the building must be a minimum of 1,800 square feet, owner- or innkeeper-occupied, and the property must be a minimum of 10,000 square feet. A minimum of one bathroom is required for every two guest rooms, rooms are limited to two guests, and no house can have more than 12 guests at one time. Meals can be served only to guests, and guests can’t stay longer than 14 days at a time.

“It’s pretty thorough about covering our bases about who can do it and who can’t do it,” Hartness said.

Both ordinances were approved 6-0 and require two more readings.

In other business Tuesday, the BMA:

— Authorized Mayor Jim Sells to sign a TDOT Local Agency Project Agreement to provide state funding for repairs on the Armstrong Road bridge.

— Agreed to advertise for bids for a boom mower tractor for the Street Department.

— Tabled approval of a contract to sell water to the Persia Utility District. Phillips noted that negotiations aren’t finalized and that he will bring that contract back to the BMA when they reach an agreement with Persia.

— Designated six patrol cars as surplus and authorized Assistant Police Chief Travis Fields to place them up for auction on govdeals.com.

— Approved a budget amendment of $35,750 to cover cost overruns on the Woodlawn paving project.

— Approved a Halloween Fun Run fundraiser for the Cherokee High School cross sountry team for the evening of Oct. 26 beginning at Crockett Creek Park and ending at Hale Springs Inn. No road closures will be required for the event.

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