Inn Gets Green Light to Expand

October 2009

By Hannah Hoffman

The Brookside Inn outside of Carlton received approval to expand its meal service and complement of rooms during a Yamhill County Board of Commissioners meeting in early September.

Owner Bruce Bandstra’s proposal was completely unopposed—a rarity in land-use issues, the commissioners pointed out.

The inn, located at 8243 Abbey Road, currently operates as a bed and breakfast with nine guest rooms, each accommodating two guests. One room also features a rollaway bed, bringing the potential number of guests to 20.

The Yamhill County Planning Commission granted its approval of Bandstra’s application July 9. The decision, now ratified by the board, allows the inn up to 20 double-occupancy rooms.

Meals will change as well. Bandstra will be allowed to serve lunch and dinner to guests as well as breakfast, officially ending the business’ status as a bed and breakfast.

When not all overnight guests book a meal, Bandstra will be able to serve non-guests on a reservation basis. That will help the inn cover the cost of an industrial-size kitchen with a 40-plate capacity.

The planning commission balked at the expanded food service element, saying there was no land-use approval on the books for a restaurant. However, the county commissioners concluded, after consulting its legal staff, that he didn’t need restaurant approval.
Assistant County Counsel Rick Sanai said a restaurant is a business that derives nearly all its revenue from selling food and beverages, whereas the Brookside Inn will still get “the lion’s share of its revenue from overnight guests.”

In addition, the inn will have a single menu, meaning diners can’t choose what they want. If the inn is serving lasagna on a given day, everyone will be eating lasagna that day. Diners will eat at the same time as well. If dinner is served at 7 p.m., diners will have to show up at 7.

The complete reliance on space-available reservations distinguishes it from a restaurant, the commissioners decided. Board Chair Leslie Lewis termed it “event dining.”

Jeff Evans of Davis Wright Tremaine in Portland, represented Bandstra. He assured commissioners, “This is not going to open the floodgates for the development of Yamhill County.”

Hannah Hoffman is a reporter for the News-Register in McMinnville.

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