Planning board upholds permit for bed and breakfast

Matter could end up in court, as opponents of project are expected to sue

The Grand Junction Planning Commission on Tuesday night upheld an approval of a bed and breakfast in the Seventh Street Historic Residential District, but there’s no indication that what’s proven to be a bitter land-use fight will end anytime soon.

Planning commissioners voted 6-0 to reaffirm Senior Planner Scott Peterson’s approval of a permit to allow Ron and Sherri DeRose to open a three-bedroom bed and breakfast in their home at 604 N. Seventh St. Commissioner Richard Schoenradt recused himself to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

After listening to nearly two hours of testimony, planning commissioners voted quickly and, except for Commission Chairman Roland Cole, without explaining its decision.

“In my mind the staff has done an adequate job — more than adequate, in fact —in looking at this and coming up with an approval,” Cole said.

A group of historic district residents who oppose the bed and breakfast is expected to file a lawsuit in Mesa County District Court within 30 days. A couple of those residents congratulated the DeRoses and shook their hands after the meeting.

“Of course we’re very pleased about it,” Sherri DeRose said. “It’s been long, it’s been ugly.

“The B&B is going to be great. It’s going to be an addition to the historic district. I’m just sorry all of this negativism has been brought out and all of these resources have been wasted on something that misses the point.”

The battle over the bed and breakfast has stretched over seven months and centers on a 1984 plan that required any land-use changes within the historic district to be approved by the City Council.

Residents who want to strictly maintain single-family residential uses within the district say other uses could erode the neighborhood and argue that Peterson’s administrative approval goes against the 1984 plan.

They also claim the city has used the plan to judge development applications filed since 1984.

City officials contend there’s no evidence that the plan was formally adopted, and that even if it had been implemented, the bed and breakfast proposed by the DeRoses constitutes a minor change that doesn’t require a public hearing.

The DeRoses’ attorney, Dan Wilson, called it “absurd to argue that this is somehow a detriment to the community.”

He noted that several properties within the historic district aren’t single-family homes, including a day care and several homes that contain apartment units.


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