By John Balch
By a vote of 5-0, the Murfreesboro City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday (Feb. 20) that will allow a proposed local bed and breakfast to pursue private club status with the state to serve beer and wine to registered guests only.
Denise Woodruff of Nashville, wife of Loyd Woodruff, recently met with the council and Mayor Rodney Fagan to ask for an ordinance that would approve of the application for Samantha’s Timber Inn LLC with the state Department of Finance and Administration’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) for a bed and breakfast private club, located at 24 Highway 27 North.
“Loyd and I have decided to turn the old Timbers building to a bed and breakfast,” Woodruff told the council last week. Work is already underway on the project, which Woodruff said will initially include five rooms with a possible future expansion of up to 14 rooms.
The Timbers, which is registered to Loyd Woodruff’s son, Thomas, moved its longtime private club out of the city limits a few years back and it is now located in Pike County on Highway 27 between Nashville and Murfreesboro.
Woodruff said she was required by a new state law, Act 1112 of 2017, to obtain approval from the governing body of the city where the private club is to be located before the application process can advance to the state level and the ABC.
The council opted last week to table the ordinance request due to two council members – Debbie Shukers and Jeff Walls – being absent and the need for City Attorney Jana Bradford to thoroughly review the document.
Wednesday night, Shukers still was not in attendance but Mayor Fagan said City Attorney Jana Bradford had reviewed the ordinance prior to the vote being taken. All council members present – Mark Barnes, Jason Allmon, Jeff Walls, Betty O’Neal and Lynda Stone – all voted to adopt the ordinance.
Mayor Fagan again clarified Wednesday night that the requested city ordinance would only allow Woodruff to begin the procedure of applying with the state for the private club status.
“It does not automatically mean the ABC will grant it,” he said.
Woodruff said, if the proposal is approved by the city and then the state, the private club could only serve beer and wine to registered guests and that sales would not be open to the general public. She also said there would also be a limit to how much beer and wine could be served to guests – three gallons per month per room.
The city once collected a two percent franchise tax from the private supper club when it was in the city but that was lost when the club moved out into the county. Woodruff said the city would again be able to collect the tax if the proposal is approved and the city’s new one percent “bed tax” would be collected on the bed and breakfast.