Bed & Breakfast Owner Says Compromise With Neighbors Unlikely - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/22/02

Bed & Breakfast Owner Says Compromise With Neighbors Unlikely

What happens on Monday could determine the next course of action for Green Oaks owner Jennifer Diaz. Diaz told WLOX News on Sunday that she planned to meet with developers the next day. Together they would to look over site and financial plans to possibly build condominiums on part of the property. She also said she expected to hear if Green Oaks will be granted museum status.

On Tuesday the Biloxi City Council said that as of April, bed and breakfasts in residential zones cannot host events. Diaz says as a museum she could continue to operate business as usual.

Kadosh Ellen Reeves knows what difficulties Diaz is going through with neighbors. Before Reeves came to manage the commercially zoned Father Ryan House, she owned a bed and breakfast surrounded by homes.

"I just went around to my neighbors and tell them what I will have a little gathering, a little business meeting or a small wedding," said Reeves.

Reeves says talking over concerns about noise and traffic that can come from events like weddings is the only real way for homeowners and business owners to become good neighbors.

"Face the neighbors and listen to them. What are their complaints?," said Reeves. "They have legitimate complaints but you have to listen to them and maybe get together ask them and negotiate with them. Ask how can you improve the relationship."

Bed and Breakfast owner Jennifer Diaz says the relationship between her and her neighbors may be severed beyond repair and she has no hope for compromise.

"I had always hoped that and I kept that door open up until the vote last Tuesday, however our neighbors clearly went on the record that they were not willing to compromise and a matter of fact every time we've tried to contact them to sit down and meet they've refused to do so," said Diaz.

Since one of Diaz's neighbors told me off camera that if the neighborhood gives an inch he believes she will take a mile, it doesn't appear there will be any compromising going on any time soon.

Jennifer Diaz says she plans to address the Biloxi City Council about the losses she's sustained at their meeting on Monday. Both Diaz and Father Ryan House manager Kadosh Ellen Reeves say business has slowed tremendously at their bed and breakfasts because of the controversy.

by Danielle Thomas

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