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Public hearings on B&B, banquet hall

Suffolk City Council will hold public hearings Wednesday on a proposal for a bed and breakfast on Pinner Street and on whether to extend the hours for an East Washington Street banquet hall.

At its March meeting, the Planning Commission approved, by a 7-1 vote, a conditional use permit to allow a bed and breakfast to operate at 231 Pinner St. and host outdoor events for up to 40 people.

Following a Feb. 19 public hearing, the commission delayed a decision to allow time for city staff and property owners to work out how their property could be used. After those discussions, city staff recommended approving the bed and breakfast with two guest rooms, but on conditions that all events take place indoors, and that there be no more than 20 people.

The property owners, Allyn and Kristen Brown, said they want to use the property for indoor and outdoor gatherings such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, family reunions and holiday celebrations. They told the commission that they had worked out an agreement with First Baptist Church for the free use of 10 parking spaces during the week and 20 on weekends, as long as the spaces are cleared by 6 a.m. on Sundays. They also presented signatures from nearby property owners supporting their use of the outdoor portions of the property.

City Council will also hold a public hearing on whether to extend the hours for Rennee’s Celebration Center at 178 E. Washington St. The commission, by a 5-3 vote, had denied a request from Rennee’s owner Jeffrey Townsend, to extend its operating hours to allow it to close at 2 a.m. instead of midnight on a daily basis.

Townsend told the commission that he is losing money by not being able to stay open later.

City staff, in its report, said there is concern that allowing Rennee’s to stay open until 2 am. daily, would cause adverse impacts and possibly affect or disrupt the comfort of neighboring properties. The Suffolk Police Department has also recommended that Townsend’s request be denied.

During the council’s work session, it will get an overview of the transportation project development process and a status update on intersection projects currently in the design phase. Parks and Recreation Director Mark Furlo will also give an update on water access projects, and council will also get an update from city staff on an opportunity for the city to acquire property near the Seaboard Coastline Pedestrian/Bike Trail in the vicinity of the Shoulders Hill Road and Pughsville Road intersection.

The work session begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, and its regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 442 W. Washington St.