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Sussex Countian
  • Microtel Inn plan sees more opposition at Georgetown Council meeting

  • The approval of changes to a Georgetown ordinance reducing the number of hotel parking spots required per room has brought to light further opposition to a proposed Microtel Inn at the southeast corner of Old Laurel Road and U.S. Route 113.
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    • WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?
      * An application by 16 Mile Brewery for reclassification as a light industrial parcel, which would allow the brewery to eventually produce more than 15,000 barrels per year, was unanimo...
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      WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?
      * An application by 16 Mile Brewery for reclassification as a light industrial parcel, which would allow the brewery to eventually produce more than 15,000 barrels per year, was unanimously approved by the council.
      * An ordinance establishing definitions for breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, and allowing these operations to exist in several zoning districts without requiring a conditional use permit, was unanimously approved by the council.
      * The council unanimously approved the demolition of a structure located at 101 Albury Avenue. The demolition is expected to cost somewhere between $12,500 and $17,000. A lien will be placed on the property for the final cost.
      * The council cancelled its July 10 meeting because there are no items to place on the agenda.
  • The approval of changes to a Georgetown ordinance reducing the number of hotel parking spots required per room has brought to light further opposition to a proposed Microtel Inn at the southeast corner of Old Laurel Road and U.S. Route 113.
    The ordinance reduces the number of required parking spots from one and one-half to one per room, and eliminates a requirement stating one parking spot must be available for every three employees.
    The measure was approved at a June 26 Georgetown Town Council meeting with a 3-1 vote. Councilwoman Linda Dennis was the lone opposing vote. Councilwoman Sue Barlow did not attend the meeting.
    Dennis pleaded with the council to table the measure so it is not passed in such close conjunction with the proposal of the Microtel Inn, whose developers presented a conceptual site plan to the Georgetown Planning Commission on June 19. The plan includes 78 rooms and 84 parking spaces, one per room and extra spaces for employees.
    “I would prefer to look at an ordinance that isn’t influenced by [an outside party] and is ultimately in the best interest of the people in this town,” Dennis said. “I’m not saying it’s not something that can be considered in the future; but at this time, it is immature.”
    Mayor Mike Wyatt said while it could be construed the ordinance is being adjusted to accommodate the Microtel Inn plan, the change must be made for any future hotels that may crop up in Georgetown. Also, because the Microtel Inn developers have not received final site approval, it’s possible their plan will not come to fruition.
    “If we change this, and the motel doesn’t come, it was all for naught,” Wyatt said. “But it’s already in place for the next one that comes.”
    The proposed location of the Microtel Inn borders the Village at Cinderberry, where Dennis resides. Other residents of that development have voiced their opposition, stating the motel will affect their property values and deter people from buying homes that will be built in the near future. The Microtel Inn’s lower price point and lack of a banquet area, reception area or conference meeting facility has also become a point of contention, and was highlighted again by Dennis during the meeting.
    Councilman Bill West said the town cannot tell investors what to build in Georgetown.
    “You want conference rooms and meeting rooms but that’s not in their plans,” West said. “These investors have taken the time to send surveys out and see what motel would fit in this area, and they’ve come up with a plan for that sum of money to build that entity. I don’t see how we can tell them they can build this, but we also want them to include meeting rooms so they’re available for the people of Georgetown.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Dennis also said she believes there’s a disconnect between the council and the Planning Commission and she requested the two begin holding joint workshops to discuss a collective vision for Georgetown.
    “Let’s set our priorities,” she said. “Let’s communicate clearly with each other so that when applications come before either group, we are on the same page, or at least in the same universe.”
    The council did agree to schedule a workshop. Town Manager Gene Dvornick is soliciting members of both groups to determine a date.
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