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Benefits of Bed & Breakfast Homes

September 22, 1985

Re your story "Can B&Bs Find Happiness in R1 Zones" (Aug. 29):

It is a benefit to the community when homeowners can rent out a spare room on an occasional basis. About 60% of the hosts of Bed & Breakfast International are retired people living on dollars that buy less every year. The longer they can afford to stay in their own homes, the less they cost the community.

For example, we visited one 73-year-old prospective host who had a beautiful home. However, it was beginning to look neglected, especially the yard, which she could no longer garden because of arthritis. We made arrangements for her to have guests around eight nights a month. At $30 a night, she earned enough to hire help, and to restore her yard to neighborhood standards. More important, her life took on a new purpose.

We have placed more than 20,000 guests since we introduced the idea of "B&B" in California in 1979 and have never had a neighbor complain. Our hosts comply with local zoning ordinances. There is less impact on the community than if the room was rented to a full-time boarder.

This is not the same thing as operating a "Bed & Breakfast" inn or guest-house. A guest-house advertises to the public and is primarily a business venture. These must be licensed and regulated. The name of private homeowners are given out only after they have seen the references and accepted the guests.

We hope that government agencies will not interfere with something that has no harmful effects and has enhanced the lives of everyone involved.



Bed & Breakfast International

Kensington, Calif.

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