Revised Plans for Stone House Hotel Application Leave Questions Unanswered | Echoes Sentinel News
WARREN TWP. – Site plan changes for the proposed 50-room hotel on the Stone House property in Stirling Ridge were presented by the Applicant to the Board of Directors on Monday, August 2.
The plaintiff, Jersey City-based developer Maddy Realty LLC, offered a three-story, 50-room hotel with a banquet hall and reflective pond on the Stone House property.
Christopher Nusser, the engineer and planner of the project, presented the revised site plans to the council.
âYou say, ‘We’ve thought about this, we’ve thought about that, we’ve been through this, we’ve been through that,’ said board chairman Foster Cooper. âNow is not the time to ‘maybe do’. It’s either you’re going to do it, you have to come back with the best of what you have to offer and we finish that, or we’re wasting a lot of time.
The parking lot proposed under the hotel was removed by the applicant, including the driveway that would have led to the garage.
To accommodate the neighbors, the applicant has also moved the hotel structure further south and west so that it is more embedded in the site. With this adjustment, the hotel would be set back 18 feet from neighboring residences.
With this move, the area of ââdisturbance of the steep slopes east of the banquet hall has been significantly reduced.
Due to the directional adjustment of the hotel, a circular access aisle, which can accommodate passenger vehicles, has been proposed to bring guests to the front of the lobby.
The hotel entrance and lobby are now located on the southwest side of the building.
There is an access on the north side of the building, which connects the existing sidewalk to the first floor of the building.
âIt’s not the primary access when you walk in to collect your key and register, but it would be used by guests after the event. They could enter from the side of the building and go up to the rooms from there, âNusser said.
Nusser said a number of parking spaces have been removed, but the lot still offers sufficient parking.
âGoing through what is there, what is offered and what is required, we still have enough parking space for the proposed site,â Nusser said.
The site plan offers 205 parking spaces, compared to the 193 spaces required by zoning laws. Three spaces are reserved for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Daniel Kline of Herold Law in Warren, representing opposing residents of eight houses on Dillon Court directly north of the site, asked why a traffic analysis had not been done.
Nusser said his team performed an analysis to make sure the access aisle could accommodate passenger vehicles. However, no documentation from this study was submitted to the Board.
Responding to another question from Kline, Nusser said no analysis has been done on the height or elevation of surrounding properties since the revised plans were submitted.
The revised site plans also proposed a significant reduction in the number of trees to be felled. While the applicant previously provided for the uprooting of 49 trees, the project now provides for the felling of 22 trees.
City planner John Chadwick recommended that the applicant determine what landscaping or fencing is needed and how to allocate rooms inside the hotel.
In terms of leveling and visibility, the proposed hotel was lowered, reducing the height of the building by 8.4 feet.
However, the applicant still offers a three-story hotel despite the advice of the board to reduce the size of the two-story building.
Board member Fernando Castanheira asked why the hotel still remains at three floors. Nusser replied that three floors are needed to accommodate the 50 rooms.
All 50 rooms are required if two events are taking place at the same time at the hotel and in the banquet hall.
Jeffrey Fleisher, the architect for the project, said the proposed balconies have been removed, helping to reduce the size of the building.
Nusser said the site’s storm management has yet to be addressed.
âYou’re unlikely to have any plans by September 20 because you’re talking about big changes,â Cooper said.
Chadwick added: “you know you have a very difficult application.”
The applicant will present their revised site plans to the Zoning Adjustment Board on Monday, October 4.