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Council approves use permits

Published 10:44pm Friday, January 18, 2013

Suffolk City Council approved three conditional use permits during its meeting on Wednesday.

A planned bed-and-breakfast in downtown Suffolk can now undergo interior renovations to create guest suites on the second floor. The home at 204 Bank St. was purchased at auction last year by Ruth Baker, who plans to run the business.

Known as the Truitt House, it was constructed by lumber magnate George W. Truitt in 1909. Sparing no expense, Truitt had it build on a marble slab with a double-doored entryway made completely of marble. Six columns surround the entry, and the home is supported by 24-inch steel beams and enclosed with brick walls that are 18 inches thick.

“This is truly a gem, a jewel in downtown Suffolk,” Grier Ferguson, representing Baker, said during Wednesday’s public hearing.

But Ferguson added that he did not think one of the proposed conditions — armed security at events — was necessary.

“She’s there, she’s controlling everything,” Ferguson said of proposed events at the house.

In exchange, Ferguson said, “We would be more than willing to agree that all events will cease by midnight.”

City Council agreed, approving the permit after deleting the requirement for armed guards and adding the time restriction.

Council also voted to approve two projects in the Chuckatuck area — a church on Godwin Boulevard and a borrow pit on Everets Road.

The new church, Celebration Christian Church, will be located across from Brown Lane. The church has been meeting at the Suffolk Family YMCA for about 10 years but has outgrown the facility, Pastor Kirk Dice said during the public hearing.

“Our dream is to be a blessing for the city,” he said.

The borrow pit is owned by Suffolk Materials LLC. The pit was permitted for five years in April 2007, but a downturn in the economy — and therefore new construction — meant only about half the available material has been excavated, owner Henry Morgan said during the public hearing.

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