GROTTOES — It’s been four years since Broad Porch Coffee settled into its home at Agora Downtown Market in Harrisonburg, and plans to expand are brewing.
During Monday’s Grottoes Town Council meeting, council members heard from Jill McMullan, co-founder of Broad Porch Coffee, who is seeking to open a third location of her coffee business at 204 Aspen Ave.
The property is owned by the town and is located adjacent to a residential area.
McMullan told council members during the public hearing that she wants to expand in Grottoes because her parents live in the town.
“I was hoping for a good place to grab a cup of coffee,” she said.
The property will be home to Broad Porch Coffee’s coffee trailer — a restored 1963 Shasta camper that is used for events, weddings and business conferences, McMullan said.
“That kick-started our entire venture into an actual coffee business in 2017,” she said. “After we opened our first location inside of the Agora Downtown Market, we used the camper for private events and festivals, so it will be exciting to see it in action more consistently.”
McMullan said that once the coffee trailer is open for business in Grottoes, items served at the cafe in Agora will also be served in Grottoes.
There were also discussions on the possibility of having a dedicated seating area around the coffee trailer, but no plans were finalized Monday.
Council members unanimously approved the request to lease town property to Broad Porch Coffee.
Council member C.W. Stepehenson was absent.
McMullan did not provide an opening date to council, saying she is hoping to have the new Luray location opened in late spring, with the Grottoes location to follow.
“We’re excited to be a part of what Grottoes has to offer, and hope our presence there offers Grottoes great things in return,” she said.
Other items on Monday’s agenda included the approval of an ordinance to allow short-term rentals in business, or B-3, zoning areas.
Previously, the ordinance only allowed short-term rentals in areas zoned low-density residential, residential and residential limited.
Interim Town Manager Joe Paxton said in a previous interview with the Daily News-Record that B-3 only allows for a bed-and-breakfast, not short-term rentals. The reason for considering the ordinance amendment was due to a request for a short-term rental within the B-3 zoning district that came before the town recently.
A short-term rental is a residence or room that is typically listed on vacation rental websites, such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway.
To have a short-term rental in Grottoes, residents must apply for a special-use permit to rent a space in their home. A business license also must be obtained for short-term rental properties, and a 2% transient occupancy tax must be paid to the town by the property owner.
The ordinance amendment does not change the short-term rental policy.