B&B concerns neighbors
Neighbors of the Silver Moose Ranch in Thaynes Canyon, run by Brian and Tamara Mooring, expressed concern to the Summit County Council Wednesday during a discussion whether to issue a permit for the business.
"Snows Lane has been anything but quiet ever since the Moorings started the bed and breakfast," said resident Kerry Armstrong said. "Not only is there traffic on the lane, but people get lost and travel into our personal property."
Armstrong said she was most troubled by people who have walked into her home assuming it was the bed and breakfast, which she said happened twice last month.
"Normally I don’t lock my doors when I’m home, but maybe that’s something I need to start doing," she said.
Dylan Rothwell, who lives nearby, said the neighborhood, particularly the Armstrongs, created what the bed and breakfast is selling.
"They chose not to develop their land because they wanted open space, and to a lesser extent, the same with my family, but with smaller acreage," he said. "So combined, two families have contributed all the open space. And the Moorings, in turn, are selling that open space and the rural experience we created, and in doing so, degrading what we have built."
However, Tina Smith, who doesn’t live in the neighborhood but has kept horses on the ranch property for more than ten years, said she hasn’t seen any issues with traffic.
"Having horses, I’m very sensitive to traffic and strangers coming around them," she said. "But the guests have been extremely respectful. Typically they are from the East or West Coast and are just amazed to have open space. They’ve been very lovely people. They just walk by the horses and take pictures."
The Moorings are leasing the property, which was previously run as part of the vocation rental pool by the owner, Massachusetts Bill Kelley.
In 2011, the Moorings applied for a business license with the county to make the property a bed and breakfast. They discovered they needed a conditional use permit to proceed.
Joe Tesch, the attorney representing the Moorings, said during the meeting that he didn’t hear anything from the neighbors that couldn’t be easily handled with conditions.
"Who knows why the traffic is there," he said. "Maybe it’s people looking for homes. But whatever it is, we can certainly have a condition that our folks remind people in all their brochures, and when they get there and leave, to watch for the 10 mph speed limit."
Other issues facing the Moorings in securing a conditional use permit is whether there is enough water to service the bed and breakfast and whether the Moorings can be considered property owners, as the owner is required to occupy the home for it to be considered a bed and breakfast.
Tesch presented a document to the County Council showing "equitable ownership" and a letter describing there was enough water to run the bed and breakfast.
"At this point it remains to be seen whether that is satisfactory to the council or not," Amir Caus, the planner assigned to the project, told The Park Record.
The County Council met in an executive session for an hour following the discussion with neighbors to deliberate on the issue.
Councilmember Roger Armstrong said during an interview the Council did not come to any conclusion during the session.
"We’re still wrestling with this issue trying to figure out where we’re going to come out," he said. "But I think we’ll be in a position to make a decision relatively shortly. It would be encouraging if we can near a decision by our next meeting."
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Single and making less than $64,000? Good luck finding a place to live in Summit County.