The La Grange plan commission Tuesday night will consider a resident's application to operate the village's first bed and breakfast at 232 S La Grange Rd in the historic district.
The property's owner, Thomas W. Perry, proposes to convert its single-family Victorian-era home and coach house into a B&B with six guest rooms, according to a report prepared by the village's community development department.
He told village officials that the home, built in 1889, has sat vacant for the past two years and requires substantial improvements, according to the report.
Perry, who resides nearby at 125 S La Grange Rd, also told them he has no plans to move himself into the B&B, but would include living quarters for a full-time, on-site staff person.
His proposal also includes seven parking spaces: two in the coach house and five in a parking area.
Because the village zoning code does not provide for B&Bs, the plan commission must first determine whether or not they would benefit the village, and also consider several zoning code amendments proposed in the report, before it can specifically address Perry's application and site plan.
The report's authors, La Grange Community Development Director Patrick Benjamin and Assistant Director Angela Mesaros, said said that "public testimony at the hearing will be an important component of this application and any approvals."
The hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Village hall auditorium.
Any approval by the plan commission is only a recommendation to the village board of trustees, who have sole authority to adopt and amend village ordinances.
The report from Benjamin and Mesaros proposes that B&Bs, if allowed, be categorized as a special use. As such, a separate application hearing would be required for each and any prospective B&B.
The report also proposes several additional limitations on B&Bs. Some of these would:
- Restrict their operation "at this time" to the historic district, and only along S La Grange Rd between Cossitt Ave and 47th St.
- Allow them to utilize only single-family homes that are at least five years old, so that no existing home could be demolished in order to construct a B&B.
- Require that any two B&Bs operating on the same side of the street be spaced at least 500 feet apart.
- Limit the number of guest rooms to six.
- Limit meal service to "breakfast and light snacks" for registered guests only. (Perry has expressed interest in obtaining a liquor license "for afternoon wine and cheese," according to the report. But that application would be directed to the village liquor commission, not the plan commission.)
- Prohibit any commercial services other than lodging, e.g. spa services or retail sales.
- Limit the length of stay for any guest to 14 consecutive days.
Code amendments that address off-street parking and signage specific to B&Bs also are proposed in the report.
It recommends "one parking space plus one space per guest room, and, if there are other frequent employees, then additional parking may be required." Some tandem parking is allowed.
Currently no signs identifying commercial establishments are permitted within residentials areas. The report proposes that each B&B be allowed one ground sign only. It cannot exceed eight square feet and cannot be illuminated by internal light.
Perry proposes to hang his B&B sign from a light post in front of the house.
Additional requirements and critieria are detailed in the 14-page staff report. Click here to view it in PDF. Or click here to view a 50-page PDF containing the report, Perry's application and related documentation.