Ridgefield families are facing the threat of a business forcing its way into a residential area. As a resident of Circle Drive I've been vetting this decision by our neighbors to convert their home to a B&B and I’ve come up with a list of pros and cons. Except that there aren’t any pros, not for anybody.
The home in question is charming. It might make an excellent B&B but we all know location is an important part of the equation. Ridgefield is well known for Main Street, the perfect location for a B&B. In fact The Elms Inn was located on Main Street but closed due in part because “… the inn business was lagging.” – Brendan Walsh News Times 7/24/12. If a B&B on Main Street was experiencing lagging business, would a B&B in a residential neighborhood, miles from the heart of town, be set up for success?
I am concerned for the safety and security of our neighborhood first and foremost. A transient business in our neighborhood will not enhance the safety and security. It will diminish it which would have a negative impacted on home values. The family has older children and they may, in the future, elect to move. Future B&B operators might not be as thoughtful as the current owners. The special permit they are asking for stays with the land forever.
I don't see how this is a good idea for anybody. It’s not in a suitable location to be a viable business. It brings uncertainty and security concerns to the neighborhood as well as the potential for a negative impact on home values. The lack of proximity to any business area will not help the Ridgefield economy. The location does not set it up for success in any way, shape or form.
To learn more about the risks of introducing B&B's and Air BNBs into our residential neighborhoods, please visit circledriveneighbors.com.
- Lisa Cousins, Ridgefield