Inverness inn to remain an inn

01/31/2013

An Inverness inn considered a prospective site for low-income housing changed ownership two weeks ago, after plans to convert it were abandoned due to limited funding. The Inverness Valley Inn, after less than a year on the market, was sold for about $2.7 million to a couple who have run a cottage in Nevada City for several years. Andy and Susan Howard see the property as an opportunity to strengthen their financial security in an industry still affected by the recession. “We’ve known about this place for a while,” Mr. Howard said. Former owner Leslie Adkins said the county is working to loosen the property’s zoning regulations to enable development of low-income housing at the inn, which was at the center of an effort by the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin “to make the dream of the affordable housing community come to life.” But that nonprofit was unable to draw enough funding over the past year and half. “We tried to give that enterprise a chance,” Ms. Adkins said. The couple moved less than two weeks ago to a farmhouse in Sonoma County, where they plan to take a “few months of rest” while preparing to set out on a career in organic agriculture. The inn may change slightly under the ownership of Mr. Howard, who said he is considering changes to furnishings and landscaping—particularly to the small farm—on the 15-acre property. The couple also plans to rename the business in coming weeks. Innkeepers typically seek to turnover properties every five to 10 years, Mr. Howard said, but “unless there’s some strong incentive to move on, we probably won’t… We may settle here and grow old.”