Thursday, January 24, 2008

Council Unanimous In Approving Hotel Proposal

Council Unanimous In Approving Hotel Proposal
By Melissa Murphy/Staff Writer

The Dixon City Council gave a unanimous thumbs up Tuesday night to construction of a Comfort Suites Hotel on Dorset Drive.

After a two-hour public hearing on the project, the council voted 4-0, confirming the design review, the final step in the approval process.

The hotel will be a 43,654-square-foot, three-story building with 80 units on a two-acre site just west of the Arco gas station in an area zoned highway commercial.
"It seems to be the best deal for this property," said Councilman Steve Alexander.
During the public hearing, the proposal for a hotel did not come without opposition.
Several neighbors next to the property expressed their disapproval of a hotel development, including Mark Slight who had appealed the Planning Commission's recommendation of approval.

"No, we are not against development," Slight said. "We want a residential compatible development that encourages quality growth."

Slight and 61 other neighbors had signed a petition against the particular development.

"I'm not alone," Slight said. "Please take what these people say into serious consideration - that this is not the right venue for a hotel."

The adjoining residential neighbors also have had a great concern for the safety of their neighborhood as similar type businesses typically bring with it transients, noise, theft and burglary, according to neighbor Maria Andrews.

A business such as a hotel is almost unheard of in a residential neighborhood and definitely will have a negative impact on the existing residents' property value, she said in a letter.

Rich Waller of Shook and Waller, LLC, proposed the hotel development. A fast-food restaurant and a retail outlet had been proposed for the same site.
"Our original proposals received a lot of opposition," Waller said. "The proposal before you today, we are very happy with. This is a permitted use, a quiet use completely within the zoning."

Melissa Murphy can be reached at

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