The Conyers-Rockdale Planning Commission recommended Thursday night to not issuing a special permit to two homeowners who want to start a bed and breakfast business at their home.
A motion to not approve of the married couple's request for the special permit passed the board 4-3 in front of a crowed audience at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street, Thursday night.
Board member Linda Carter, who made the initial motion, questioned why the couple would want to start the business in a community that was against it.
"I don't question your integrity," she said to the couple. "From a humanity standpoint, I don't understand why you want to start the bed and breakfast when the community seems to be against it."
The couple, Terrie and Ruben Alexander, cited upcoming retirement as a reason why they wanted to start the business now at their single-family house located at 2724 Sunday Road.
"The property will remain a single-family home," Terrie said to the board. "It will never be a hotel, motel, or inn."
However, that is just one of the fears of the couple's surrounding neighbors. Two neighbors, who weren't in attendance at the meeting, had people read letters to the board on their behalf expressing their concerns.
The main issues concerning the neighbors are security issues with random strangers coming and going from the Alexander's property and traffic issues with increased cars at the property. If the special permit is issued, the bed and breakfast would allow only four guests at one time.
"If (the couple) wants to operate a bed and breakfast, I suggest he purchase one somewhere else," the letter from one neighbor read. "This neighborhood is no place for a business."
The couple plans to do remodeling to their 4,000-square-foot home that sits on about 7 acres of land. The addition would increase the house size by about 800-square-feet, which would make it a "very large house" and "standout" from the surrounding homes, says board member Chuck Russell.
But, the couple feels like the remodeling wouldn't be an intrusion on the neighborhood because "people remodel their homes all the time," Terrie says.
"Because we don't feel like it will change the landscape of the community, we don't see it as a problem" she said.
The couple, who have lived at the property for ten years, claimed that the property has been used as a business as recent as 1999.
"There was a business located on our property. It was called Sweet Sunday Farm," she said.
A public hearing on whether to give the couple a special permit will be held on June 23 at 9 a.m. at the Assembly Hall. The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners will have a final vote on this issue at its July 14 voting session.