Residents criticize proposed hotel plan at Grass Valley Development Review Committee meeting
A dozen residents who turned out for a Grass Valley Development Review Committee meeting Tuesday to hear a revised conceptual plan for a proposed 79-unit hotel remained concerned that the project will lead to traffic congestion, high noise volume, lowered property values and the displacement of residents.
“I seriously wonder whether we need more hotel spaces in this small town? It’s true that a few weekends of the year there are big events… on a few weekends maybe the hotels fill up, but we have quite a few hotels and I suspect that 90 percent of time they are not even half full,” said Jerry Martin, who lives about three blocks away from the proposed development.
The design plans, submitted by Yuba City-based Hilbers M&M, LP, calls for a 49,906-square-foot, three-story hotel at the northwest corner of East Main Street and West Olympia Drive. The plan also includes a 5,769-square-foot commercial space with a bank and a drive-through restaurant.
The 2.62-acre property where the hotel will be built is made up of two parcels that currently contain four single-family homes and seven small cabins, most of which are low-income housing.
Community Development Director Tom Last said the owners of the two parcels have given the developer the authority to file an application. According to one of the property owners, the property is now in escrow.
Last said the displacement issue will be addressed should the project get approved.
City staff said the project is undergoing preliminary review, and the developers still have to decide whether to submit a formal application. Nevertheless, the plan already is drawing fire from neighbors.
Pat Farrell, who lives on Apple Avenue, close to the proposed hotel, said the project would lead to increased traffic.
“I’m concerned about obstructing West Olympia with more traffic. It is our only main access out of the neighborhood,” she said. “In a fire, we would be busy evacuating hotel guests. What about all the people in the neighborhood that live above that hotel, and where do we all evacuate to in a fire?”
She said the hotel would diminish property values in the neighborhood and the project would lead to overdevelopment.
“It appears to me that it just seems to be a profit for a few, and to the detriments of all others, which just doesn’t seem fair,” Farrell said.
Sean O’Neil, a civil engineer with Genesis Engineering and a representative for the applicant, said the developers feel there is a need for the hotel as well as more businesses in this community. He said the traffic and the noise concerns would be addressed as part of the environmental impact study of the project if the developers decide to move forward.
“The traffic study will be done as part of the project and it will dictate whether there will be more improvements,” he said.
Last said the ball is now in the developer’s court. He encouraged the developers to reach out to the neighbors whether or not they plan to submit a formal application at this point.
To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 530-477-4236.
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