Bed-and-breakfast arrival on North Main Street

EDWARDSVILLE-Edwardsville City Council unanimously approved a special use permit Tuesday, allowing a Godfrey couple to open a bed-and-breakfast at 223 N. Kansas Street, two blocks from east of North Main Street.

1. Approval is in the name of the applicant only and the permit with special use is not transferable;

2. Applicants will use background check software, decibel monitoring software and external security cameras to monitor guests and property activity to limit potential nuisance;

3. Applicants will provide four on -street parking spaces for guests;

4. Applicants will deduct one bedroom from the house, making a total of three bedrooms

Erin Long and Joseph Mays arrived in the city and presented their plan to clarify the difference between the proposed bed-and-breakfast and those already in operation in Edwardsville, following every step in accordance with city rules. Other, similar establishments were opened without consulting the city.

“We have a lot of them [unlicensed BnBs] running the city, ”City Planner Emily Fultz said. “We sent letters to them, we notified the owners that they had to come in for special use permits and if not, they had to stop and dismiss the operations; citations could follow otherwise.”

There is another tangent to the subject: the difference between traditional bed-and-breakfasts and online platforms, such as Airbnb. Alderman William Krause wanted to draw a distinction between Airbnb and a traditional bed-and-breakfast with a sign in the front yard showing the name of the site and an entertaining atmosphere compared to a house with no signs and an endless merry-go-round of visitors. He described Airbnb as an electronic platform that allows people to reach a wider audience, comparing it to renting a home using Zillow.

The Long and Mays model embraces traditional bed-and-breakfast while using technology such as security cameras and decibel detectors, to market their site to potential customers. Guests stay between two and 90 days concurrently. Homeowners are not onsite on guest visits and they expect up to seven people to occupy their home at any given time. Guests will also have access to the house’s two-car garage.

Long said, because they live 20 minutes away, they have an on -call team of “boots on the ground” to help them – cleaners, mechanics and handy people and if a major problem arises, they depend to the local police.

Fultz said while bed-and-restfts are defined in the city’s zoning code, there is no specific section of the zoning code that deals with them. Edwardsville is one of the few communities in the Metro East without a law covering Airbnbs and illegal operation of bed-and-breakfasts, Krause said. Aldermen instructed Fultz to create an ordinance to update the definition of bed-and-breakfast and keep Airbnbs within city limits before the next community and community administrative services (ACS) meeting in June. 10.

Kim Goodner, co-owner of 222 Artisan Bakery, a retired Air Force Nurse and a disabled veteran, came to speak for the bed-and-breakfast proposal.

“When I travel alone or with my family, we often stay in Airbnbs, guesthouses or even hostels.”

Airbnbs is not what most think, he said. He said he stayed in the areas from a few days to a few months.

“I’m safer and more comfortable in those places than in hotels,” he said. “And that’s the way the world goes round, people,” he said.

“I know some of you say no to my town [but] we have homeless people going on for years. Goddard House is a BnB, as well as other places, along Route 66 here in town, “he said. Krause agreed with him on that point.

Alderman has received at least four opposition emails or letters responding to the bed-and-breakfast proposal.

Alderman SJ Morrison, who is temporarily advocating for his employer, Madison County Transit (MCT), said he often sends calls from tourists who want to stay near one of MCT’s bike lanes. The MCT Watershed Trail is the closest to the North Kansas address.

“Downtown Edwardsville has a lot to offer [but] there is no place to stay, just a short distance away, ”he said.

Shaunalyn Boad, founder of Amazing Grace in Logan Place, was present to answer any questions about her unit development plan and to make sure the process went smoothly. Fultz provided an overview of the proposal, describing renovations and plans for additions for the former Metcalfe Mansion leading up to an opening in 2024. An adjacent one -story bungalow at # 6 Logan Place, could be demolished. or move to September 2023. A 36-slot parking lot will replace the cottage house. The aldermen were united in passing the plan.

The next Edwardsville City Council meeting will be June 15 at 7 p.m. at city hall, 118 Hillsboro Ave.

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