All those historic manors lining the streets of Madisonville may soon bring in more visitors to the lakeside town.
After nearly 200 years of township, officials at a recent City Council meeting adopted the town’s first definition of a bed and breakfast, which now gives residents the OK to rent out rooms in their homes.
Permit Administrator Steve Benton said several residents had called him over the years about opening a bed and breakfast, but he couldn’t give them a permit for it because without a definition, he couldn’t know if they were meeting the requirements.
Benton decided to do some digging and found a makeshift definition a former planning and zoning member had drawn up.
He submitted that to the current planning and zoning commission to rework, and as of last Wednesday night, it’s now acceptable to run a bed and breakfast in the town of Madisonville.
The definition the council passed reads:
• A bed and breakfast must be a one-family dwelling.
• The exterior of the building shall maintain a residential appearance.
• The facility shall be the residence of the operator, who is the owner or leaseholder of the building.
• Rooms may not be rented for more than seven consecutive days, and no more than 15 days per person in any 30-day period.
• A morning meal must be served on premises and included within the room charge for guest of the facility and shall be the only meal provided.
• The facility must meet applicable parish and state health, safety not limited to the Uniform Building Code requirements concerning maximum occupancy and labiality requirements.
• One off-street parking space will be required for each rented bedroom in addition to the number of spaces required for each dwelling unit.
• Maximum of four rooms.
Benton said after the planning and zoning member devised his own definition, nothing else came of it and the effort slowly faded.
In other news:
• The council appointed Benton as the liaison to participate in the parish’s mitigation planning process relating to hurricane preparedness.
• The council also passed a resolution in support of the town becoming a Cultural District, a designation that offers original works of art tax-free. It also allows tax breaks on the restoration of historic buildings.
The Cultural District designation comes from the Lt. Governor’s Office and will take several months before they decide if Madisonville will become St. Tammany’s next Cultural District.