The developer of a proposed Microtel Inn has received preliminary site plan approval in Georgetown.

The developer of a proposed Microtel Inn has received preliminary site plan approval in Georgetown.

Despite the attendance of a few dozen residents of the neighboring Village of Cinderberry who stand in staunch opposition of the hotel, the Georgetown Planning Commission unanimously approved the plan at its Oct. 16 regular meeting.

Commissioner Gary Tonge said he sympathizes with the residents' concerns regarding the hotel's height; however the commission has no choice but to approve the application.

"The plan as presented to us meets the qualifications and criteria of our code," Tonge said. "We do not have a legal reason to turn the site plan down."

The Microtel Inn is proposed for construction on a three-acre parcel of land at the southeast corner of Old Laurel Road and U.S. Route 113, located in a highway commercial zone.

The 78-room structure is set to be four stories and 44 feet in height. Georgetown's code allows a maximum building height of 55 feet in a highway commercial zone.

Jack Hickey, president of the Village of Cinderberry home and property owners associations, said the residents' major concern is the building's height.

"That is a line-of-sight problem for a large number of our homeowners and we think that's going to be detrimental to the present value of our homes and for future development," Hickey said at the meeting.

Kathleen Pfeiffer, treasurer of the Cinderberry HOA and POA, said Georgetown needs a higher quality hotel.

"Microtel is in competition with Super 8, Econo Lodge and Red Roof," Pfeiffer said. "We deserve more than that."

Pfeiffer also voiced concerns regarding placement of the hotel's dumpster, stating its location at the rear of the building is too close to the Village of Cinderberry and could cause noise and smell disruptions for residents.

Beacon Hospitality, the developer of the hotel, still has a long road ahead before it can start booking rooms. The commission's approval is contingent upon outside agency approvals, such as those from the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware Fire Marshal, as well as response to comments from the town's engineer. Final site plan approval is granted internally, through the Georgetown Planning Department.

Chad Moore, owner of Beacon Hospitality, has said he is willing to work with the Village of Cinderberry residents to address their concerns. Following the Oct. 16 vote, Moore said he plans to collaborate with residents regarding a landscape barrier between their homes and the hotel.

"About 43 feet of the parcel borders Cinderberry," Moore said. "We're going to form a committee of four or five residents who will work with our landscape architect to plan out that barrier."