By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford Planning Commission approved a request Monday to allow one of the town’s historic homes on South Lamar to become a new bed and breakfast.
The home, owned by Scott and Brandi Lewis, has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms with nearly 13,000 square feet of livable space. Originally built in 1870, it has been on the real estate market for several years.
The Lewis’ plan on living in the home – which is actually a requirement to run a bed and breakfast – while using five of the bedrooms for the bed and breakfast.
According to the city’s Planning Department, larger historic homes can be a challenge to market because of the costs often associated with acquisition and property maintenance costs associated with them.
“The applicants’ proposal seems to be a great way to preserve this historic structure and while also adding another family to the community,” stated the staff report to the Planning Commission.
Bed and Breakfast establishments are allowed via special exceptions granted by the Planning Commission and they must adhere to several requirements, such as being on a property at least 1 acre in size; must be managed by the owner and serve as the primary residence of the property owner; a breakfast meal only may be provided to registered guests; should have no more than five bedrooms being used for the bed and breakfast; no cooking facilities in the guest rooms and it may not be allowed within 500 feet of another bed and breakfast establishment.
One neighbor submitted a letter in support of the request. There were no objections filed or presented at Monday’s Planning Commission meeting. Another adjoining property owner attended the meeting in support of the project.
Any renovations to the property would need to go before the Historic Preservation Commission for approval.
The commission approved the request for the special exception unanimously.