Mentor rezoning, hotel plans have rough go

Mentor Rezoning, Hotel Plans Have Rough Go

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The Mentor Planning Commission this week will consider a proposal to rezone this property to make way for a hotel project. The developer proposing a hotel off of Route 615 in Mentor appears to have a number of hurdles to clear if he chooses to proceed with the project. The plan requires rezoning about 6 acres of vacant property northwest of the Route 2 interchange from B-1, Community Service to B-2, General Business District.

The Mentor Planning Commission informally reviewed the rezoning request from Bucyrus Lodging Inc., an affiliate of Fremont-based SunRise Hospitality Inc., on Sept.

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The existing zoning is meant to serve as a buffer between homes and commercial areas, commission member Sean Blake said.

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I m just not for this zoning change, he said. I m not in support of it, because we will be taking a B-2, which is a more intense zone, and placing it into a residential area. I hope you can find another site in Mentor

Applicant representative Mark Rufener asked whether the rest of the commission felt the same. Commission Chairman Bill Snow said it may depend on how the developer responds to conditions placed on the proposal, including providing studies of the potential impact to traffic, drainage and utilities.

When you change zoning you change law, and there needs to be a real strong reason for that occur, Snow said. Planning Administrator Ric Spence noted that no curb cuts are allowed on Route 615 in that area and the only access to the property would be via Bellflower Road.

He expressed concern about increased traffic and the effect on property values of the homes to the north. Snow asked which hotel franchise was being considered for the site. Rufener said that hadn t been decided yet.

Generally, they either do a Marriott product or a Hampton, like a Hampton Inn or the Hilton brand products, he said, noting that the plan is at the very beginning stages. SunRise Hospitality has about 25 total lodging sites, mostly in the northwestern part of the state and elsewhere in the Midwest. Its other offerings include Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn, Candlewood Suites and Country Inn & Suites.

Developer Aashish Patel has said that he would like to build a four-story, 50,000-square-foot building with about 90 rooms. The zoning change requires commission and City Council approval, but not a voter referendum, unlike a rezoning proposed1 for property southwest of the interchange. The northerly property has been the subject of multiple rezoning requests.

It was changed to the current zoning from R-2, Single-Family Residential in November 2003, when voters approved an initiative petition by Richard Osborne Jr. The rezoning was linked with an assisted-living facility proposal. In 2004, the commission approved a preliminary site plan for the facility and, a few months later, an adult day care for the site. The projects didn t proceed, in part, because of the economic downturn, Osborne said. In light of such history, city Law Director Richard A.

Hennig proposed setting a time limit on development plans related to rezonings.

If the development plan that s approved doesn t commence within a certain period of time let s say six months the applicant and owner will agree that the rezoning will be reversed by councilmanic action, and the applicant and owner will not challenge it in court, Hennig said, adding that projects may come and go, but the community is left with the changed zoning.

You build right away or the deal s off. No action was required on the informal rezoning request. Attempts to reach the developer about whether he plans to make a formal submission were unsuccessful.

References

  1. ^ rezoning proposed (www.news-herald.com)

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