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May 16, 2014
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Nevada City denies request to reopen Kendall House B&B

The Nevada City Planning Commission has denied a request from the new owners of the Kendall House on Spring Street to recommence operations under the bed and breakfast’s use permit issued in 1991.

At the outset of the first hearing in April, city attorney Hal DeGraw stated that the primary issue in this matter was intent — specifically, whether or not the property’s previous owners intended to discontinue use of Kendall House as a bed and breakfast during a 10-year period where it was not operating.

Despite testimony from Jeff Corbett, who owned the property with his wife during those years, that he had not intended to discontinue use as a B&B — as well as assertions from the current owners’ attorneys that intent had not been proven — those statements were found to be undermined by other facts in the case.

“The intent of the Corbetts not to abandon the B&B use of the property ... as testified to by Jeff Corbett at the hearing, was contradicted by the length of the period they did not operate or reopen the property as a B&B,” city planner Cindy Siegfried wrote in a staff report accompanied by findings requested by the commission.

Those findings also indicated that evidence supporting Corbett’s claims that he had not intended to abandon the use of Kendall House as a B&B were insufficient.

The vote was 3-1, with commissioner Dan Thiem recusing himself to avoid a conflict of interest. Thiem is affiliated with the Outside Inn in Nevada City.

Commissioner John Parent cast the sole dissenting vote.

“I’m having a really hard time again to try and read these findings and find truth in them that I can agree with,” Parent said. “I can’t support these findings, and I will not support these findings.

“I believe that under these circumstances, there has been no termination by discontinuance with intent to abandon,” Parent added. “I believe the courts are very clear on this, and I think we should be too.”

Kendall House’s new owners, Molly Poe and Decklan Hickey, now have a 15-day window to file an appeal with the city.

“It’s probably going to go to another level,” said commissioner Greg Wolters, while thanking those in the audience for their participation in the hearing.

Hickey declined to comment on whether he would appeal.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

Previously reported:

May 14, 2014 ­— Nevada City Kendall House B&B unlikely to reopen

May 1, 2014 — Reopening Kendall House bed and breakfast reveals confusion in Nevada City

April 17, 2014 — Nevada City Planning Commission holds hearing to reopen Kendall House Bed and Breakfast

“I’m having a really hard time again to try and read these findings and find truth in them that I can agree with.”
Planning Commissioner John Parent

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The Union Updated May 16, 2014 12:05AM Published May 16, 2014 12:02AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.