Planning Commission approves construction of Hampton Inn, city's first hotel
Despite some objections from neighbors, the 73-room hotel will be built at Highway 99W and Meinecke Parkway
Editor's Note: This story has been updated since its original publication and now includes appeal deadline information.)
The Sherwood Planning Commission has approved the construction of Sherwood's first hotel, a four-story Hampton Inn planned just off of Highway 99W with access from Meinecke Parkway.
The decision came following a more than three-hour meeting Dec. 13 with testimony from nine residents adjacent to the proposed 73-room building. All expressed concerns about the location of the facility based on issues of parking, traffic flow, privacy and general aesthetics.
Hotel entrance plans call for customers to access it by turning off of Highway 99W onto Meinecke Parkway, following it around the roundabout and looping back to make a right-hand turn into the facility on the same street.
Michelle Miller, a city senior planner, told commissioners that along with 62 parking spaces at the hotel, another 12 would be leased from Cheyenne Plaza, the adjacent complex that contains Generations Bar & Grill along with a health club and hair salon. In addition, other parking would be available along Smith Avenue and Alexander Lane
Traffic engineers estimate that there will be approximately 650 trips per day made to the hotel, which officially will have an address of 21970 Alexander Lane, just south of Generations Bar & Grill.
Lloyd Hill of Hill Architects of West Linn, said plans are to build a "very nice" hotel geared toward business and vacation travelers with the city receiving an estimated yearly tax revenue of $150,000. Regarding concerns over parking and traffic, Hill said he didn't expect the hotel to be completely occupied on a regular basis, noting it generally would be 70 percent filled. He also noted that the hotel would not normally need more than the 62 parking spaces on site.
One contention that Hill laid to rest is the possibility of another Hilton Hotel brand facility (Hampton Inns are part of the company's holdings) a mile or so up the road, noting it would be the only one in the area.
During a neighborhood meeting in September, a representative from Deacon Development Group said his company had plans to build a hotel, possibly a Hampton Inn, off of Highway 99W and Edy Road, next to a planned assisted living facility. Among the other hotels owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. are Embassy Suite Hotels, Double Tree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inns.
Rising up to 47 feet tall, the hotel will be the first four-story structure in the city.
However, several residents who live near the proposed hotel expressed objections at having the facility so close to their neighborhoods.
"I think it's a horrible idea," resident Ashley Weston told the commission. She said one of her biggest concerns is traffic running through the neighborhoods at Sequoia Terrace and Noble Fir Court.
Mike Meyer, owner of Generations Bar and Grill, testified that at first blush he thought the hotel would be good for his next door business.
However, "My concern is parking," he said, noting that after a Friday night football game the parking lot at Cheyenne Plaza is filled and there are vehicles parked along Smith Avenue as well.
Another resident with a home near the hotel, F. Charles W. Heil, pointed out that on some days motorists hoping to turn left from Highway 99W onto Meineke have to wait through four traffic signal cycles before they are able to turn.
Resident Ron McCullough pointed out that while Sherwood High School won't have students driving to school once it's turned into a middle school, it will have more students walking in the area. He said while the city needs a hotel (and that he personality works for a contractor who built hotels) but didn't favor the current location.
"That little tiny corner is not the right corner," he said.
Meanwhile, Jean Simpson, chairwoman of the Sherwood Planning Commission, said she was surprised that no safety improvements are required to the roundabout or to Highway 99 despite the fact the facility is estimated to generate 650 daily trips to the site per day.
Russell Griffin, commission vice chairman, explained to residents that in approving or denying any planning project, the commission must adhere to what the city code allows. Addressing suggestions from some residents that access should be from Highway 99W instead of Meinecke Parkway, Griffin explained that Highway 99W is a state highway under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Transportation, which has consistently denied direct access to businesses from the roadway.
"Is it the right spot for the applicant? I don't know," said Griffin. He noted, however, that the decision could be appealed to the Sherwood City Council, which would hold another public hearing on the issue.
One requirement the commission requested is that city signage be installed, directing hotel-goers to the facility without traveling through nearby neighborhoods on how to get there.
The deadline to appeal the project was Dec. 29, 2016, according to city officials.