Zoning amendment sought to allow inn to provide catering

April 23, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The owners of a country inn in Middleburg have asked county officials to amend the zoning ordinance to allow them to provide catering and facilities for banquets, weddings and other social events.

Charles M. Preston, a Westminster attorney who represents the owners of the Bowling Brook Country Inn, requested the amendment, said Solveig Smith, Carroll's zoning administrator. The 19th-century manor house is located on 225 acres off Middleburg Road in Middleburg.

Under existing law, country inns and bed and breakfasts can serve meals only to overnight customers, Ms. Smith said.

The home now is available for parties but does not provide catering. Under the amendment, catering would be limited to one-day events.

"Bowling Brook wishes to make [catering] a regular part of its service," Ms. Smith told commission members.

She said the proposed amendment would not apply to bed and breakfast inns. Country inns are houses that are at least 50 years old, and are distinguished from hotels and motels by size and a more personal atmosphere, according to the county's zoning ordinance.

Ms. Smith said there is only one other country inn in Carroll, the Winchester Country Inn in Westminster.

The planning commission sent the proposal to the county's Zoning Ordinance Oversight Committee for further review and a recommendation. The proposal will return to the planning commission for a recommendation before it goes to the county )) commissioners for approval.

If recommended for approval by the planning commission, the measure would be forwarded to the county commissioners for a public hearing and final action.

In other business, the planning commission unanimously recommended amending the zoning ordinance to allow the manufacture and assembly of aircraft, automobiles, house trailers or other vehicles in restricted or light industrial zones.

The county zoning ordinance allows those manufacturing uses in general industrial zones.

The oversight committee has stated that "state of the art" technology makes the use equally acceptable in light industrial zones.

The planning commission, however, recommended manufacturing in light industrial areas only as a conditional use.

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