CAPE ELIZABETH — After more than a year of work by the Planning Board and Ordinance Committee, bed and breakfast inns are now allowed in parts of town.
The new rules, however, do not allow a B&B on the property at 1 Crescent View Ave., where property owner Shawn Tamir was the initiating force behind the ordinance change. Tamir’s land is 100 feet away from the Route 77 (Ocean House Road) right-of-way, but the zoning changes approved Monday by the Town Council allow only properties with frontage on that road and Shore Road to become B&Bs.
B&Bs are also allowed in the Town Center and Business-A zones. No other property owners have come forward with distinct plans for converting a home into a B&B.
The new ordinance allows bed and breakfasts as long as:
• They have no more than nine rooms.
• In the Residential-A zone, they have two acres of land and 125 feet of frontage on Shore Road or Route 77.
• In the Residential-C zone, they have half an acre of land and 100 feet of frontage on Shore Road or Route 77.
• In residential zones, the owner lives in and operates the inn.
• Two parking spaces plus one per room and employee are provided.
• They are rented per night for up to 14 nights in a row.
• Meals are only served to guests.
• They go through a site plan review process.
Councilors accepted the ordinance changes unanimously as recommended by the Ordinance Committee, with many saying it came as the best compromise possible given citizen feedback.
While many residents have expressed a desire to see B&Bs in Cape Elizabeth, they are also hesitant to allow them in their own backyards. By allowing them on the town’s two major roads, any increased traffic will be “invisibly absorbed,” Councilor David Backer said, and will not affect small neighborhood streets.
“It’s a good compromise,” Councilor Paul McKenney said. “And a good first step to see how it works out.”