Despite the appeals made by Chestermere residents, the Subdivision & Development Appeal Board (SDAB) supported the Chestermere Planning Commission’s decision to approve the application for a proposed hotel development subject to conditions.
In September, a Development Permit for a Best Western hotel located at 200 Marina Drive was approved by the Chestermere Planning Commission in accordance with the Town of Chestermere’s Land Use Bylaw. Any person(s) deemed to be affected by this approval had the opportunity to make an appeal of the decision to the SDAB.
Two appeals were received in regards to this development and a public hearing with the SDAB was held on Wednesday October 30 in Council Chambers at Town Hall.
The room was packed with concerned residents and interested parties such as representatives of Melcor Developments and the hotel ownership group. During the hearing each person in attendance had the opportunity to speak to the Appeal Board to voice their concerns or share their support for a hotel in that location.
Five individuals spoke with concerns regarding the hotel and the impact it might have to traffic; parking; noise; visibility; quality of life to the neighbouring homes; the height of the building and how that will affect neighbouring homes as well as the impact on residential property values.
In regards to traffic concerns, residents noted that with only one controlled intersection within Chestermere Station near the Tim Hortons, the entire area including the residential parts of Westmere is already dealing with traffic and safety concerns. This was later addressed by supporters of the hotel saying that there has been a recommendation to council in the 2014 Budget to add a set of lights at the intersection of Marina Drive and Chestermere Blvd near the new Starbucks, which they say will alleviate this concern.
The height of the building is of great concern to those in opposition to this hotel as well. The location of the hotel is zoned for commercial retail and has a height restriction of 11 meters for any building on that property. The hotel will in fact be 16.07 meters, 5.07 meters above what the bylaw stipulates. Nearby homeowners, whose homes are within 50 meters to the north of this building are concerned with shadows and visibility as well as the amount of sun that might be blocked from them due to the height of the three story structure.
A representative of the hotel ownership group spoke of the world wide franchise and explained that this particular hotel is slated to be a Best Western Plus, which brings very high standards and higher quality finishing’s. The hotel is slated to have a swimming pool, but no restaurant or bar service.
Conditions have been added to the approval of this development but details on those conditions have not yet been made public. The SDAB have 15 days from the date of the hearing to make their report public. The decision to approve the hotel development by the SDAB is final and there will be no more opportunities for appeal.