A former bed and breakfast near Austin College recently got permission from the city to reopen.


The Sherman City Council unanimously approved a specific use permit for the two-story house at 506 North Grand Avenue to resume operations as a bed and breakfast, though council member Pam Howeth was absent from the meeting. The property was recently purchased and the new owner said reopening it for business would be the best way to continue the preservation of the five bedroom, three bathroom home built around 1900.


The specific use permit was recommended for approval by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission last month.


“It was used as a bed and breakfast before,” Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said to the council. “It has a new owner. The board voted unanimous to recommend this approval subject to the staff review letter and we had no objections.”


All of the home’s upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms will be used for the bed and breakfast business, as well as the building’s front parlors. The fifth bedroom, which is downstairs, as well as the back parlor will be used as the owner’s personal residential space and to cook meals. New owner Elliott Smith said he believes the additional lodging opportunity, particularly as it is near Austin College, will complement the city and the school.


“I purchased this property a couple months ago — it’s a property I personally consider to be a historical gem,” Smith said to the commission in August. “I have to commend the previous owners who have kept up this house. It has a lot of the original wood, a lot of ornate aspects to the house, including stained glass windows.”


Smith said the previous owner had operated the home as a bed and breakfast until, he believes, 2010.


“Even after I purchased the property, she encouraged me to ‘please, please do this,’” Smith said. “After thinking about it and knowing that a house of this kind would require certain amounts of maintenance throughout its existence, I think that it’s in its best interest to generate the means to continue doing that while also making it available to the public to stay and appreciate.”


Smith is planning to add five additional parking spaces around the house and told the commission he understood he’d have to get permission for the addition of the asphalt, though Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said that request wouldn’t have to go back before the commission.