Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014 11:28 am | Updated: 11:38 am, Sat Aug 30, 2014.
The Aldinger-Cartwright home at 505 Griffith Ave., was approved for a specific use permit The Terrell Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved a change in zoning rules that would allow one of the city’s largest and most visible historic homes to become a bed and breakfast inn.
that would allow up to five of the six bedrooms to become guest accommodations. However, current owner Tom Aldinger said he and his wife Nancy have no intention of converting the home into a bed and breakfast under their ownership.
The residence is on the market for sale. Aldinger, who once served on the commission, told members that allowing the option of future use of the home as a bed and breakfast could make it more feasible for those owners to maintain and keep up the mansion.
“By allowing the home to become a B&B allows future owners the opportunity to derive income to be able to afford it,” Aldinger said. The home has both state and national historic designations and had remained in the Cartwright family until the 1990s, he said.
The action comes less than a year after a similar request for a home at 605 N. Frances St., was turned down by the commission and then the city council.
Prior to the Aldinger’s purchasing the home several years ago it had passed through several owners, some who had financial difficulty in maintaining the six bedroom home.
Terms of the specific use permit only allow use of the home for guest stays and not for other uses, such as hosting weddings, receptions and parties for rent, according to Terry Capehart, municipal development director. The permit also would not allow the placement of a sign on the property advertising it as a business, he said.
Capehart’s office recommended approval of the permit despite four objections from nearby residents.
Among the written objections was one from Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Wilson, who live on Third Street.
“We don’t believe that an historic house such as the Cartwright mansion should be used for commercial purposes,” the Wilsons said in a written comment. “Parking could be a problem. It could destroy the integrity of the residential streets.”
Other concerns included the potential impact on property values on homes in the neighborhood.
Aldinger said the home sits on a 1.35-acre tract and has one four-car garage and more garage space available with parking well off the street. Capehart said prior to any future owner transforming the home into use as a bed and breakfast they would be required to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the city ensuring handicapped standards and fire code standards were met.
Among the comments in favor of allowing the commercial use was one from Jim and Bonnie McGinty, who lives across the street.
“The more than adequate parking and the type of people who normally frequent B&Bs means there would be no disruption in the neighborhood,” they said. “This would open what is probably the most beautiful home in East Texas to visitors to our city.”
The planning and zoning commission unanimously approved the motion to allow the specific use permit.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting the commission approved a zoning change for property at 510 S. Virginia St., from light industrial to retail. Capehart said the change will allow plans of developers to construct a new Dollar General Store on the site to move forward.