Back to the drawing board for Intervale hotel developers | Local News
CONWAY – In what is believed to be the very first use of the nuisance complaints section of the city’s sitemap review bylaw, developers were fired to the drawing board last Thursday by the Council of Conway’s planning for the controversial Viewpoint North Conway LLC Intervale Hotel Project.
They are due to return on January 13 and resubmit a possible new plan by December 21.
âI’m not sure these global changes will work for this project – and that we ultimately don’t end up in a call anyway,â said project engineer Josh McAllister from HEB Engineers, accompanied by the lawyer John Ratigan. DTC lawyers in Exeter.
McAllister added that the proposed reduction in the height of the building to 40 feet from the 54.5 feet originally proposed “is a problem.”
âThere will also be no reduction in rooms. It will be 95 rooms. And the rooftop lounge and restaurant will also remain, âhe said.
Following guidelines set by municipal attorney Peter Malia of Hastings and Malia Law Office of Fryeburg, who attended the meeting, council voted to accept three of the five nuisance complaints filed by attorney Roy F. Tilsley Jr. . by Bernstein Shur of Manchester on behalf of the buffers and the residents of the neighborhood.
If necessary, council read aloud each nuisance complaint and then voted on whether or not to accept it. After each vote, the approved vote is read aloud. A written explanation of each vote will be kept on file in accordance with the site plan review regulations.
After the first votes to accept or reject the nuisance complaints, the council acted on mitigation measures.
It is now up to the developers to try to incorporate these changes and determine if the project can still be viable enough for the developers, given these constraints – and if they do not provide a justifiable economic return for the developers, that is. could lead to recourse and litigation.
The project site is a 3.66 acre parcel at the corner of Highway 16 and Intervale Cross Road. The site and the 16-room Intervale Motel were sold by the John R. Cannell Revocable Trust to Viewpoint North Conway LLC, a Massachusetts investor group led by hotelier PJ Patel, last December for $ 1.4 million. dollars.
One of the issues the council took action on last Thursday was to recommend that developers reduce the height of the building to 40 feet, “in line with surrounding buildings,” instead of the originally proposed 54.5 feet which were later proposed. modified by the developers to 51.5 feet.
They also voted to impose a 35-foot buffer zone on the east and south sides of the property abutting residential properties (the plaintiffs had previously requested a 50-foot buffer zone).
As part of that discussion, the planning council came up with the 35-foot figure as a compromise. As part of the compromise, McAllister said he could increase the 33-foot buffer zone at the south end of the property which includes the trailhead and corridor of the Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Association to 35 feet.
He also stated that he would be able to maintain a 35-foot buffer zone on the east side of the property abutting the Mountain View Estate properties and that he would not have to relocate the building, but in doing so, he said he should limit entry and exit. to a 15 foot driveway at Intervale Cross Road for emergency vehicles only.
Tilsley said his clients were ok with the compromise.
The board of directors then voted to ask the developer to add an attractive and adequate fence along the east side with appropriate landscaping to block light and noise pollution and ensure privacy.
They also voted to try to organize a scoping meeting with the state Department of Transportation between developers and municipal engineer Paul DegliAngeli to address pedestrian and traffic safety concerns along the public road. 16 facing the property and the failed intersection of Interval Cross Road.
They also unanimously approved two measures, the first requiring the developer to remove the proposed rooftop lounge and restaurant from the plan; or if these amenities remain, to have sufficient parking for these functions, as provided for in the Municipal Code, or to request a parking exemption.
They also asked the promoters to improve the snow removal plan.
The three nuisance complaints unanimously approved for a hearing by council were as follows:
â¢ With 95 units, this project will lead to an increase in traffic levels and will have a negative impact on road safety and pedestrian safety.
â¢ The scale of this project will result in excessive noise and light pollution, which will have a negative impact on the peace and privacy of neighboring properties.
â¢ The project does not conform to the character of the neighborhood and will have an impact on the visual harmony and enjoyment of the neighborhood.
The board of directors dismissed a fourth complaint that the height of the building would obstruct the mountain views of neighboring properties (including residential properties as well as the scenic view) and “affect the enjoyment of homeowners and visitors to the area. “.
The vote to accept this nuisance complaint was 4-3 against, so he was defeated. President Ben Colbath, Selectmen Representative Steve Porter, Alternate Steve Hartmann and Bill Barbin voted against. Vice-President Ailie Byers, Erik Corbett and Secretary Sarah Frechette voted in favor.
The board of directors also voted against accepting for consideration a fifth complaint claiming that the project “would have negative effects on the value of residential properties”.
Barbin, who is a real estate agent, voted in his favor. He said he would be “remiss if he didn’t explain” that he felt it would have a negative impact on the adjoining properties. Other members such as Byers said that in today’s volatile real estate market, it is difficult to determine the impacts.
Regarding a proposed mitigation measure to save or remove the great maple tree on the front lawn which has become a symbol of the struggle to limit the scope of the proposed project, council has taken no action, which means it does not will not continue this battle because it is a matter of property rights, as Ratigan argues, protected by state and national constitutions.
McAllister in his presentation to the board said any development on the property will result in damage to the tree.
At Thursday’s meeting, McAllister said his client would be ready to go to 95 rooms but parking would be kept at 108 spaces, leaving 10 spaces for staff and three additional parking spaces in reserve.
But Hartmann, Byers and Verney said they worked in the hospitality industry and said McAllister’s figures for maximum staff were below reasonable expectations for what it would take to staff a hotel that is also proposed to include a rooftop lounge and restaurant for guests only.
They said they were concerned that staff would instead use the parking lot at the State’s Scenic Vista and the nearby Cannell Resort during peak periods, creating a safety hazard and therefore a nuisance.