Kurt Ribisl

CHTC Weighs Pros And Cons of B&Bs

The Town Council is pondering how bed and breakfasts might change the character of Chapel Hill’s historic neighborhoods. In some tourist towns like Asheville, bed and breakfasts have been hailed as a way to revitalize historic neighborhoods, but Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said he’s not convinced that’s needed in Chapel Hill. “Somebody earlier tonight said, ‘What problem is this solving?’, and I think for many of our neighborhoods it’s not solving any problem. It’s just potentially creating them,” said Kleinschmidt. The council heard from residents on the issue Monday night. Many, including Boundary Street homeowner Sally Sather, were opposed to the concept. “No one I have talked to in my neighborhood is in favor of allowing bed and breakfasts to start buying up our houses,” said Sather. “Allowing this kind of creeping commercialism would be a terrible precedent for this council to set.” Town planners told the council they don’t recommend wide-spread permitting of B&Bs either, but the council could consider allowing some neighborhoods to opt in. One example might be the Cameron-McCauley Historic District, where long-time residents say student rentals have taken over, destabilizing the neighborhood. Kurt Ribisl is the president of the Westside Neighborhood Association. He told the council new bed and breakfasts sound better than more of what his neighbors call “student-stuffers.” “Between having a rental property or a B&B, people would think that a B&B would...

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