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May 14, 2013

Planning approves bed-and-breakfast

CHICKASHA — A Chickasha couple moved closer to bringing a bed-and-breakfast to town after the Planning Commission approved their request for a use-on-review.

The measure will allow Jeanna and Tommy Buchanan to open their business at 1524 S. 12th St., which is zoned as residential. The Buchanans hope to capitalize on people staying in town for local events should City Council make a final approval next week.

"I thought it would be a real asset to Chickasha," Jeanna Buchanan said. "It seems like an ideal location. I heard there were bed-and-breakfasts here in the past that were quite successful. We have the sports complex here, the Festival of Light, and we figured we could have people stay that are coming in for things like that."

A use-on-review allows landowners to use their land for a purpose other than what it is zoned for, provided it will not disrupt surrounding properties, and not go through the entire process of changing the zoning category.

The Commission approved the measure after discussing the future of the property as a bed and breakfast. Their main concern was what might happen if guests decide to stay for an extended period of time, although the Buchanans will market the business as a "honeymoon cottage" for use by one couple at a time. If people reside in the bed-and-breakfast for a few months, City Manager Stewart Fairburn said, then it would become more like a rental house, which is allowed under its current zoning.

"That would essentially make it a rental house, which is legal under R-1," Fairburn said. "However, that would eliminate its use-on-review status."

The Buchanans plan to prepare food for their business off-site and take it to the cottage on a daily basis.

"We felt it was the best way, because that way you don't feel like you have to be here at this time or up by this time," Jeanna Buchanan said. "I fell like if people are relaxed, maybe they will stay in Chickasha longer."

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