Speaking on behalf of the project was Lee Gauge, of
Only one person spoke in opposition to the variance, a neighbor behind the property who feared the height of the building would diminish his view.
The 60,000 square-foot hotel, originally planned to open for this tourism season, has moved slowly due to a number of building code issues that needed to be worked out between the project design team and county planning and fire officials. The hotel is being developed by the Patel family with
The hotel is the first of three being planned on the west side of 41, between the Glass Hut and the Oakhurst Fruit Stand.
Original plans called for two additional limited-service hotels, a 108-room
Patel said earlier the three hotels combined would provide 100 jobs for the area and
Although final grading and building permits have not been approved for the new
Agreement reached on fire suppression water storage tank
The developers have agreed to a 35-foot tall, stand-alone 468,000 gallon fire suppression water tank for the hotel. The developers thought the size of the tank was excessive a few months ago, but have now agreed to meet the request per state building and fire codes.
"They have addressed the fire code conditions that include the indoor sprinkler system, fire hydrants, alarm system, and the water storage tank," said
Keenan earlier said her department has been working with the project's design team for a year to mitigate the water storage issue.
Keenan also noted that the water storage is necessary because
In addition to the water storage for fire suppression, the hotel still needs to hook up to
The final grading plan is currently being reviewed by the
"Everyone has been doing what we can to keep this project moving forward with the minimum requirements of the state building code," Keenan said. "County staff can not design the project ... we can only review submitted plans to make sure they meet state building and fire codes to protect the people in the hotel and the general community."
Although the project is making headway, it has not come without some disagreement between the project design team and the county, including some verbal jabs at the county, including accusations of incompetence and retaliation.
The accusation of retaliation stems from a news story that quoted developers voicing concern over unfair and unnecessary building requirements being placed on the project.
In an April letter to
Bradley stated in the letter that Mr. Gauge has built 80 hotels and he himself has worked for 20 years on schools and hospitals.
"Never have I witnessed unprofessionalism from officials as I have from some of these from
Bradley said that when Keenan was asked how she arrived at the size of the water storage tank, her response was "because I said so."
"It seemed to me, as an observer, this was just another opportunity to dig into a developer's pockets ... no explanation ... period."
Keenan said she made no such comment.
Bradley said he wrote the letter out of frustration due to, what he felt were unnecessary, and some inaccurate requests being put on the developer and a bottleneck in getting answers from the county.
In a memo to Allinder in late April, Keenan said she had grated the reduction of water storage from 630,000 gallons per hotel in three separate storage tanks, to just one tank requiring 468,000 gallons for all three planned hotels.Bradley also said all communications with the planning department had to go through Hinton, and that answers to questions that would normally take 10 minutes over the phone and by email, were taking weeks due to the lack of response by Hinton.
"To date, no such proof has been provided, but they continue to make malicious statements against staff," Allinder wrote.
"They began construction without approvals and had to be stopped," continued Allinder. "The original and second plan submittal has multiple references to the city of
Allinder further stated that the hotel has had delays because the project team has disregarded explicit direction from the county planner and building department.
"Delays caused by the inability of the designers to make corrections to comply with minimum code requirements," Allinder said.
On behalf of the county,
The second review, dated
Allinder's letter said that his staff has provided numerous suggestions and solutions in writing to the developers and his staff has been responsive and professional.
"Despite all this, we still support the project and want to see it completed," concluded Allinder.
The Patel family also owns two other
The family also owns three hotels in
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