Zoning may threaten business at Plano's historic Carpenter House




Posted on November 15, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 15 at 6:39 PM

PLANO – The historic Carpenter House bed and breakfast has hosted guests and weddings for the last 20 years. But recently, it hit a roadblock.

It's located in the middle of a neighborhood, and, lately, some of those neighbors have been complaining. That’s put the house in the city’s ire and threatens the inn's future.

Only recently, did nearby homeowners and the owner of an adjacent apartment complex complain about noise at the 114-year-old house. 

"In the house, you can actually hear it, even over your TV," said Randy Grimm, who lives down the street.

Neighbors also complained about parking issues. "If we're parked on the street and we leave to go to the store, when we come back, we may not have a parking spot," said Grimm.

When the complaints were made, neighbors discovered the Carpenter House is operating illegally. It's zoned to be a bed and breakfast, not an assembly hall. 

The city sent Pat Black and her husband, who have owned the house for the last 12 years, a cease and desist letter. 

"For the first time in 20 years, there was no beautiful outdoor garden wedding in October at the Carpenter House, which was very hard," said Black.

The city allowed the Blacks to hold smaller events while they applied for a zoning change. Plano's Planning and Zoning commission approved three restrictions: No amplified music outdoors; all events must end by 10 p.m.; no more than 45 people would allowed to attend. 

"Forty-five is tough," said Black. "It's going to be tough to keep the place going. But we're certainly willing to compromise."

The Blacks say they've dipped into their retirement savings account to keep their business going. That's why they are anxiously awaiting a December 10 meeting, when the city will decide whether to change zoning ––a change, the Blacks say, could help or hurt their business.

Email sstoler@wfaa.com