I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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More on the Fairview Inn zoning decision…

According to a Clarion Ledger story, the Mississippi Supreme Court is going to be asked for a rehearing on the decision that the restaurant in the Fairview Inn is spot zoning.  One curiousity:  Am I reading correctly that this bed and breakfast was started by Bill Simmons (this was his father’s house for decades)?  Simmons was for decades the leader of the Citizens Council.  In any event, here’s what the Clarion Ledger has to say:

Peter Sharp, who owns the Belhaven bed and breakfast with his wife, Tamar, said he was informed Friday of the city’s decision.

Peter Sharp said the Fairview’s restaurant, Sophia’s, is an integral part of their business. It would be difficult to serve meals to the guests at the inn without opening the dining room to the public, he said.

“Sustaining a restaurant for 18 rooms is not a viable option,” he said.  …

The court’s decision reverses a 2007 decision by then-Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who sided with the city. The suit was brought by Mark and Anita Modak-Truran and Daniel and Katherine Baker, all of whom are lawyers and represented themselves.

Anita Modak-Truran said they never had a problem with the Fairview Inn operating as a small bed and breakfast, but the business continued to grow and expand, threatening the character of the neighborhood.

“The whole reason why there are zoning laws is to protect residential areas, and we live in a quintessential residential area,” she said.

Modak-Truran described the Fairview as “a beautiful place” and said the Sharps should be commended for their involvement in the community. But the restaurant is out of place in the neighborhood, she said.

Modak-Truran said the inn, under initial owners William and Carol Simmons, was pitched to neighborhood residents as a small, quiet bed and breakfast. Then the Simmonses opened the restaurant, getting zoning approval from the city after the fact.

At the Simmonses’ request, the council voted unanimously to create a zoning classification for a bed and breakfast with a restaurant.

Sharp said the restaurant will continue to operate, at least for the 14 days it takes for the court to decide whether it will review its decision. “Obviously, we want to make available to the community dining options at the inn,” he said. “I think the city wants to support (the inn). It’s good for the city as a whole and is not detrimental for the neighborhood.”

Update: Fairfield corrected to Fairview, as per comment.

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