Commission supports proposed project on Kossuth
The German Village Commission recommended approval of a variety of measures that will help pave the way for a souvenir shop and bed and breakfast in the neighborhood.
Jeff Smith and Stevo Roksandic want to convert a vacant house at 820 S. Fifth St. into a bed and breakfast and open a gift shop in the historic Red Stable, 223 E. Kossuth St. The properties are adjacent to each other.
Aug. 28, the commission voted to approve a variance allowing for a commercial use and a bed and breakfast in a residential district.
The commission debated, but ultimately gave its blessing to, a request to reduce the number of parking spaces from the required eight to zero.
There was some consternation about the number of cars that would be added to a street that already has two successful destinations: Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Schmidt's Fudge Haus.
Smith said a visual inventory of the parking situation on Kossuth indicated there is only an issue during peak business hours.
"As far as potential for overnight parking, I don't see it as an issue," Smith said.
Also, the bed and breakfast would basically attract a car per room and the Red Stable, which has been a number of retail uses for more than 40 years, never has had off-street parking, Smith said.
Commissioners expressed concern over another bedroom being added to the bed and breakfast.
Both Smith and Roksandic said they didn't intend to alter the interior that drastically but acknowledged they could seek to add a third bedroom.
That sparked some unease from commissioners, who issued a caveat: any future modification that affected the exterior would be a problem.
Commissioners in a separate vote approved the replacement and repaving of the curb cut, apron and other deteriorated concrete in front of the Red Stable, and the installation of a decorative wooden bench in front the of the shop.
The owners withdrew plans to put a wooden hitching post in front of the Red Stable.
The project garnered support from Tim Dick, the owner of the fudge shop across the street, who called the future uses a "wonderful addition to our area."
The matter must still go back to the city zoning staff and finally, Columbus City Council, for approval.
Smith said the souvenir shop likely would be ready by fall, but it's less certain when the bed and breakfast will open.
In a related move, the commission approved several other improvements to the site that had been authorized by the city's historic preservation staff.