Historic Plano Venue Clashes With Neighbors

Neighbors complain that Carpenter House operates without proper zoning

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Nov 15, 2012  |  Updated 7:07 PM CDT
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The Carpenter House near downtown Plano, a historic home turned wedding venue, is fighting to change its zoning and keep its doors open.

Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter

The Carpenter House near downtown Plano, a historic home turned wedding venue, is fighting to change its zoning and keep its doors open.

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A historic home turned wedding venue in Plano is fighting to keep its doors open after a flurry of complaints from neighbors.

Carpenter House owner Pat Black said the property has operated as an events and wedding venue for 12 years -- and for years before they bought it -- even though it has a hotel-motel zoning permit.

The city sent a letter five months ago informing the Blacks to cease operations.

And city representatives noted during a City Council meeting this week that it is not permitted by zoning or the Heritage Commission's bed-and-breakfast designation.

The city said it did not pursue enforcement against the Carpenter House because of a lack of complaints.

But in June, neighbors started voicing concerns they say they have had for years after learning the venue did not have the proper documentation.

"Without that permit, you cannot legally run this business," said Randy Grimm, who lives down the street.

Grimm said parking on his street is a major issue, as well as noise from music and parties.

"You can definitely hear it in the house if you're watching TV by yourself," he said.

Black said the neighbors never directly complained to her about any issues.

"It was a surprise that there had been any problems," she said.

Black said she made several compromises after hearing recommendations from her first hearing with the city Heritage Commission. She has capped attendance at 45 people to lessen the parking issue, set a 10 p.m. curfew and banned outdoor music.

"We love our neighborhood," Black said. "We feel like we are the stewards of this property, and we want to continue to be, but we just can't."

The City Council will look at the issue once again in early December.

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