Historic blunder puts city in a tough spot
We don’t envy Grand Junction City Council members or city staffers working with them on the proposed bed and breakfast being considered for the historic area on North Seventh Street.
Because somebody with the city 25 years ago failed to maintain the proper documents that shows whether the council formally adopted the development plan for the Seventh Street Historic District, the current council is caught in a bind.
The bed and breakfast is legally allowable under the zoning that exists in the area. However, the residents of the neighborhood have believed for 25 years that such commercial operations could be stopped under the planned development plan that was supposed to be adopted in conjunction with the historic district.
What’s more, the city has operated all these years as if the plan were in place, even if it wasn’t formally adopted.
No matter which way the city goes with its decision on the bed and breakfast, it will anger somebody and may even face a legal challenge.
But it’s hard to argue that those residents of Seventh Street who believed they had preserved the character of their neighborhood with a development plan they and the city endorsed back in 1984 should lose their protections now due to somebody’s neglect years ago.
While we don’t believe a bed and breakfast would significantly change the character of the historic neighborhood, many residents of North Seventh Street do believe that. And, if the development plan had been formally adopted by the City Council, as was believed to be the case, the business would not automatically have the right to operate there.
The city should recognize that and reject the permit for the bed and breakfast on North Seventh Street.