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B&B's And Bees Make It onto Salisbury City Council Agenda

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Salisbury City Council President Jake Day

Salisbury may soon allow bed and breakfasts to operate in the Historic Newtown Community.

The City Council took up the idea last night during its works session and recently got the attention of city leaders during a Newtown Association dinner last October.

Supporters say that a bed and breakfast could be better for the neighborhood -- especially in dealing with abandoned and foreclosed homes as well as the problem of single-family homes conversions into rental properties.  

Council President Jake Day says he believes they could really benefit the community.

"The generic or general analysis seems to be that, yes, there is a positive economic benefit and public safety benefit. And, a positive perception benefit. You see people walking around who have just spent money at a bed and breakfast, people who are investing in the economy walking around a neighborhood, rather than, say, nobody on a street. You see a light on where there wasn't a light on before."

But, there were some residents who spoke out against the idea saying that they could reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood.

Kay Gibsen has been a resident of Newtown for over twenty years. She says, "It will change the qualify of my life. I have one house that may be converted and another large house that may be sold to be converted. There's a driveway that runs behind my house to both properties so I'll have increased traffic. I'll have increased noise....and a lack of privacy. I don't think I'll be able to sell my house as a single family home if it is sitting between two businesses."

Mayor Jim Ireton says he believes there are clearly issues that must be addressed before approving such a move.

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"We want Newtown to have this. The question is does it do what we want to property values and neighborhood safety as it does around the country given the number of non-conforming uses in the neighborhood. And, that's, that's the hard part."

Bees and Chickens

Chickens and bees could be coming to a backyard in Salisbury.

The Salisbury City Council mulled over a proposal during its work session that would allow certain residents to become beekeepers.

But there would be some strict regulations that would require certain distances from other properties.

Council President Jake Day says that the council will work with the Lower Beekeeping Association to develop an ordinance.

Meanwhile, the council also reviewed the idea of allowing residents to have a small number of egg-laying chickens in their yards.

Day told WMDT that this was part of the urban agriculture community gardening movement and access to healthy food.

(Tom Hunt contributed to this story)

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.