Room Rental Request Denied in Princess Anne - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Room Rental Request Denied in Princess Anne

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Army Lt. Dax Brecher's Victorian-era home in Princess Anne, Md. (Photo: WBOC) Army Lt. Dax Brecher's Victorian-era home in Princess Anne, Md. (Photo: WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- The Princess Anne Zoning Appeals Board has denied a property owner's request to rent rooms out of his newly bought Victorian home.

When Army Lt. Dax Brecher of New York bought his home in May, it was everything he imagined.

"The home, I absolutely love," Brecher said. "The home is quiet, it's peaceful."

After three overseas deployments and seven years of service, Brecher said it was just what he needed. He spent three months and $35,000 to fix up the home.

"It was always kind of my thing to want to renovate a Victorian," he said.

Brecher will not be in his home for long, if an impending deployment to Kuwait in October comes through. To keep costs down while he is gone, he wants to rent three of his four bedrooms to professional friends. 

Brecher took his request to the Zoning Appeals Board because renting rooms to non-family members does not fall in line with town code. If Brecher wants to collect income while he is gone, he will have to rent his home to a single family. It is an option he is not thrilled about considering.

"I can't afford to keep this house and still mitigate the cost," he said.

According to the town's code, boarding houses fall under 'Exceptional Uses,' though Brecher does not classify his home as one. The request was denied at a recent public meeting, when people from all over the community showed up. One neighbor even started a petition.

"No deliberation took place whatsoever," Brecher claims. "They just said ' No, we have our answer.'"

Agnes Cooper Dennis, who is chairperson for the Zoning Appeals Board, tells WBOC the board was not willing to make an exception because they are concerned about people moving in and out at the home near Princess Anne Elementary School.

"Making a rooming house with different people they [community] don't know, it's something you want to protect children from," Dennis said.

Brecher assured the board that the people moving in are responsible, grown adults. He offered to install surveillance cameras outside the home to make everyone feel more safe.

That idea did not sit well with some board members either.

"If you have professionals, why do you need so much protection?" Dennis said.

Brecher said the town is just fearful of change. 

At this time Brecher is not sure what he will do. He has the option to sell, rent his home to a family or appeal the decision in Somerset County Circuit Court.

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