SOUTHINGTON — Owners of a vacant corner lot on West Street in Plantsville are trying again for town approval of a hotel.
Jaymin Mehta, of Canton, had hoped to build a five story “micro-hotel” with 80 rooms on the one-acre site at 17 West St. The proposed building, two stories higher than allowed in the area, was rejected by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Now Mehta is looking to build a three-story, 54-room hotel on the long-vacant property at the corner of West and West Main streets.
In March, the town’s Conservation Commission approved the new plan. Mehta needed the panel’s approval since the proposal involves construction near wetlands.
The hotel proposal goes next to the Planning and Zoning Commission and could be discussed at a meeting scheduled for later this month.
“This is the first application to (Planning and Zoning Commission) for a three-story 7,500 square-foot hotel,” said Southington planner Maryellen Edwards.
Sev Bovino, representing Mehta, said the plan now conforms with the 65 foot height and three-story limitations for the industrially zoned neighborhood. Unlike the five-story plan, Bovino said he won’t need any special exceptions for the current proposal.
The micro-hotel idea is a viable one, according to Bovino, vice president of Kratzert & Jones, a local surveying and civil engineering firm.
“They call it a boutique hotel,” he said. “It’s a new trend for smaller hotels to cater to the clientele.”
Area residents were concerned about the possibility of a five-story hotel. Bovino feels other uses allowed in the zone would be much more disruptive.
A hotel “will impact a lot less than if we proposed a storage facility with trucks coming in and out,” Bovino said.
Robert Hammersley, commission chairman, said the group hasn’t yet considered the plan. He said the property is an important one for Plantsville.
“It’s a gateway into Plantsville on a lot that’s been vacant forever,” Hammersley said.
Town officials, including economic development coordinator Lou Perillo have spoken in favor of the hotel plan. Hotels are among the highest tax paying businesses, according to Perillo.