The Carrollton City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a special use permit for a Residence Inn hotel by Marriott on a piece of land between Raiford and McCoy roads, going against a recommended denial from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The vote comes with multiple stipulations and a condition that the site plan will expire after 48 months if a building permit is not submitted by then. One stipulation includes rotating the hotel footprint by 90 degrees from the original plan to reduce the visual impact of the hotel on nearby homes.
The 90 degree rotation is one of multiple additions to the plan that were prepared for the council meeting after residents spoke against the permit at the June 18 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Carrollton’s Development Services Director Ravi Shah said the additional options came as a way to address concerns citizens raised at the commission meeting.
Speakers at both the commission and council meetings spoke against the permit, citing concerns that included property devaluation, traffic and crime. Multiple speakers brought up privacy concerns.
According to city documentation, city staff in 2010 met multiple times with representatives of the nearby Nob Hill subdivision to discuss the vision for the area before establishing the planned development district.
“I cannot believe that anybody on this side of the neighborhood would have agreed and been happy with a six-story hotel going in right beside them,” resident Roberta Stavely said at the council meeting. “I just find that astounding that anybody agreed to that, or that anybody thought that was a good idea at the time.”
A memo to the council states that it has been the city’s goal to have “high-quality hotel development” on the western part of the property.
The planned development district, established in 2010, allows for full-service and limited-service hotels to be built on the tract by right without the need for a permit, unless it is within 300 feet of McCoy and south of Sutters Mill Drive, according to city documentation. The Residence Inn hotel needed a special use permit because it is designated as a residence hotel.
“This hotel should not be confused with economy and budget hotels, which do not provide the amenities or services the city requires today,” city documentation stated.
According to city documentation, the city council in 2010 required a permit for a residence hotel on the property to “afford the City Council the opportunity to ensure the hotel’s quality and meet the city’s expectations for quality hotel development.”
A 2010 presentation to the council and commission included a proposal for three upscale hotels on the land. According to city documentation, a Courtyard Marriott and Convention Center has been constructed, and a Hampton Inn Hilton is in development review.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pat Cochran said the decision was a win or a loss either way they go.
“The win is that we can speak for the people by voting yes for this and give them what they need,” she said. “If we vote no, we lose all hope of having any control over this.
She also said her heart went out to the concerned residents.
“But I also know that we have 5,000 soccer players that will show up at a soccer site when it is built,” she said. “We need places for people to come. We need Carrollton to continue to grow.”