Brockville’s planning committee is recommending developers of a budget hotel on the Holiday Inn site get a break on lot frontages.
The recommendation, which goes to a final council vote next Tuesday, would allow the developers to proceed with a fresh design for the Avid hotel, knowing they can get a required lot severance.
The owners of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites broke ground symbolically last February on a planned second facility at the Kent Boulevard site, which they said will be a 64-room hotel under the budget hotel brand Avid.
They had initially hoped to open the facility by this coming spring.
But the new project is a tight squeeze on the Holiday Inn lot, which abuts the 401 and already includes both the existing hotel and the Brockville Convention Centre.
In order for the Avid hotel to be built, city hall must approve a significant reduction in the permitted lot frontage, “to facilitate severance into two properties,” notes the recommendation now headed to council.
It would also have to approve fewer parking spots.
The recommendation puts off a decision on the parking spaces until the developers come back with their new design.
“We have no concerns with the proposed reductions in the frontage,” planner Andrew McGinnis told council’s planning and operations committee this past Tuesday.
City officials did, however, have some concerns regarding parking, said McGinnis, who worried the plan might lead to overflow parking in the street.
Joy Sterritt, a citizen member of the planning committee, also questioned the proponents on the matter of parking.
The developers’ initial request was a reduction from 64 spots, required to meet the one-to-one ratio of parking spots to rooms, to 58.
But local surveyor Bob Jordan, speaking on behalf of the developers, said Tuesday a brand-new design he saw earlier that day actually provided for 65 parking spots on the site, all of them north of the crucial “offset line” from Highway 401.
That design would resolve a critical snag in the hotel project.
The developers were forced to redraw their proposal after objections from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), which notes the proposed development is too close to the ministry’s right of way on the nearby highway.
The right of way would be of critical importance, for instance, should the province ever heed local calls to expand the 401 to six lanes in the region.
Jordan told the committee the new plan does not involve off-street parking.
If council approves the recommendation to allow a reduction in lot frontage, the hotel developers will have to return to city hall with their revised plan.
The planning committee will then have to hold a second public meeting, this time on that revised plan, before voting on the zoning amendments that would allow it to proceed.