Reduced Viewpoint Hotel Becomes Conditional OK | Local News
CONWAY — After hours of presentation and discussion, the Conway Planning Board unanimously granted conditional approval Jan. 13 to the scaled-down but still controversial Viewpoint North Conway LLC hotel proposal at Intervale.
First proposed as four stories and totaling 105,836 square feet with 105 bedrooms, then reduced to 9,412 square feet and 98 rooms, the plan conditionally approved by the planning board last Thursday was for a three-story, 62,205 square Structure of 70 single-storey rooms and a floor area of 20,735 square feet.
The conditionally approved proposal also includes a 75-seat restaurant and rooftop lounge that would be open to the public. Previous iterations of the plan had only opened it to hotel guests.
The developers also obtained the waiver they were seeking for the height of the building, to allow for a staircase and lift to an observation deck.
“Good luck,” board chairman Ben Colbath told project engineer Josh McAllister of HEB Engineers of North Conway, who had led the project since first appearing on the project’s behalf in February 2021.
Selectmen representative Steve Porter presented the motion for approval, which was seconded by Bill Barbin.
Porter, Barbin, Colbath, Sarah Frechette, Ailie Byers, Erik Corbett and alternate Steve Hartmann, serving for board member Eliza Grant, who recused herself because her husband, Mike Grant, had filed a complaint for nuisance through attorney Roy Tilsley, voted for. Jr. of Bernstein Shur of Manchester.
After the 7-0 vote, the meeting was adjourned, with Viewpoint lawyer John J. Ratigan of DTC Lawyers of Exeter thanking the board.
Afterwards, Colbath and Porter admitted that although some people, including many neighbors, objected to the construction of a hotel on this site – which currently houses the now closed 16-room one-story Intervale Motel – they noted that the city’s zoning ordinance permits such use of the commercially zoned 3.66-acre lot and that the process worked in terms of give and take between the council and the applicant.
“I am grateful to the members of the community who have come forward to try and affect the change they wanted to see happen. That being said,” Colbath said, adding, “It’s an uphill battle trying to make both sides happy with what the developer wanted and what the community wanted to see in place.
“At the end of the day, it’s a zero-sum game,” he said, “so we’re not going to make decisions that indirectly go against what the community wants, but at the same time, we must uphold our duty to the City of Conway and the ordinances.”
Colbath noted, “I’m grateful the developer was willing to come back as many times as they did because I know it was a lot of work for HEB, and it probably wasn’t exactly the path that it was going to be.” the developer probably thought it would be okay and I’m glad we were able to implement some of the changes the community wanted to see.
Porter agreed, saying: “I thought the claimant had come back with new and revised plans that met the needs that the scorers and the board had presented to them, so they were very friendly with some of the coloring concerns and the stuff like that, so I feel the board did a great job.
According to the opencorporates.com website, Viewpoint North Conway LLC includes Member Jatinbhal Patel, Member/Manager Niravkumar Patel, Officer Shivam Patel, Agent Mark L. Janos, Manager/Member Pantosh A. Patel and Member Vimal Pants. The LLC was incorporated in New Hampshire in October 2020.
Litigator Grant also expressed general support for how the process works. “We never said ‘on my corpse’; we never said “no hotel”. We just wanted something that was (not as big),” said Grant, who lives across from the 3.66-acre parcel that currently houses the Intervale Motel.
Regarding the waiver, McAllister said his client only requested it for a small portion of the building to exceed 40 feet, noting that “95% of the building is less than 40 feet (as requested by council in part of the nuisance complaint filed by Grant with support from Butters) and 4.7 percent is greater than 40 feet” at 45 feet.
The original proposal was for a structure 55 feet tall, which is the maximum height allowed by current zoning, but planners at the Sept. 23 council meeting as part of the nuisance complaint asked for the 40 foot restriction. feet.
As part of an application by Tilsley, council approved a condition that a berm be installed on the east side between the hotel and the aburttingIntervale Outlook townhouse complex prior to construction.
Tilsley raised concerns about the proposed color of the new hotel’s roof, which was depicted in red.
McAllister asked for a break to call his client and after doing so he came back and said his client was willing to have a roof in the black/grey ladder – and this condition was added to the 20 conditions presented by City Solicitor Peter Malia. of Hastings and Malia of Fryeburg and subsequently ratified.
Other conditions approved included:
• Add additional “do not enter” signs on emergency vehicles only on Intervale Cross Road driveway which is to be used only by emergency vehicles and relocate barrier to Intervale Cross Road property line .
• On 77 spaces, dedicate central parking spaces to hotel guests and identify them on the map.
• Close the observation deck at sunset and add to the plan that the observation deck will be open only to hotel and restaurant guests and there will be no food service on the deck.
• Provide on-site snow removal if there is an accumulation within 24 hours;
• Add a preservative mix to the creek buffer zone.
• Place additional plantings of arborvitae on the fence and berm along the east property line.
• Have a conditional approval expiration date of January 26, 2023.
The session was held at the Marshall Gym at the Conway Recreation Center and started at 6 p.m. instead of being at Conway City Hall at 7 p.m.
The gymnasium was selected because based on past attendance at Viewpoint’s board appearance dating back to last January, when as many as 100 people attended Viewpoint’s board appearances, the planners expected a large turnout, but only 13 people from the public attended.
The parcel was sold in December 2020 for $1.4 million by the John R. Cannell Revocable Trust.
Neighbor Vanessa Kuemmerle lamented the expected loss of the large maple tree on the motel lawn.
Others asked if sidewalks could be built, saying the area was still busy with people walking from Scenic Vista to the Trails End Ice Cream Store at Cannell’s Country Store complex.
But City Engineer Paul DegliAngeli noted that the city has no plans to install sidewalks because there is nowhere to anchor them and it would impact the complex’s already limited parking.
At the December 21 selectors’ meeting, DegliAngeli reported to selectors on the findings of a scoping meeting he had with McAllister and state Department of Transportation officials who indicated that the flow of traffic in this section did not warrant any improvement from the developer.
Porter suggested during this session that the city should perhaps ask the state to add a roundabout at the intersection of Intervale Cross Road and Route 16 in its 10-year road plan.