Once marketed as a bed and breakfast, 223 W. First St. is more of a boarding house, according to the Webb City city code. It has three extended-stay areas.

P&Z advances special use permit for boarding house to City Council

Vanessa Stone thought she had been operating a bed and breakfast the past three years at 223 W. First St., across the street from the Webb City Public Library.

But building inspector Eddie Kreighbaum informed members of the Planning and Zoning Commision Monday that the Webb City code book does not include rules for a bed and breakfast.

A boarding house is the closest category he said he could find. And it was noted that there are other boarding houses in the city.

Besides, unlike a typical short-stay bed and breakfast, Stone prefers to rent out her three rooms for extended stays.

“We provide housing for people who are less fortunate,” said Stone. “It’s a service.”

One of Stone’s tenants was in the audience and vouched for her intentions. “My husband and I had a very hard time. She (Stone) does everything she can to help everyone she meets.”

“I turn down about three people (potential tenants) a week,” said Stone. “There’s a shortage of extended-stay rooms.”

Stone now lives in Mt. Vernon. When she lived in her house here she didn’t have to have a permit. That arrangement, with the owner living in the house, is another bed-and-breakfast distinction.

She said she has an arrangement with the library for her tenants to park in the library’s lot adjacent to her house. Tenants’ cars (or any others) aren’t allowed to park in front of the house so that cars angle parked at the library won’t back into them.

Kreighbaum said Stone’s house meets code. There was no opposition.

The vote was 4-0 to recommend that the City Council approve Stone’s request for a two-year special use permit. Rick Utter is the commission chairman. Other members present were Melissa Annis, Chris Taylor, Clarence Greeno and Mike Moore.

Stone’s request will likely be on the council’s Dec. 13 agenda.