Statesville Council approves site plan for new hotel, bike/pedestrian path
BY STACIE LETT CAIN
The Statesville City Council on Monday approved the site plan for a new $9.5 million hotel.
The Fairfield Inn, planned for a site at 1243 Tonewood Street, will encompass 14,221 square feet and feature 94 guest rooms.
“We are very happy to be here in Statesville and to be able to connect our hotel into the proposed greenway project,” Fairfield representative Lane Moore told the council. “We are in negotiations now with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for the final approvals on our proposed street accesses which include a right-in/right-out in the front of the property and full street access on the back.”
Before approving the site plan, council members decided not to require the developer to build sidewalks along Pump Station Road, which is located on the back side of the hotel.
“Requiring sidewalk to be placed along that area would achieve what?” asked Council member Michael Johnson. “There is really nowhere for that sidewalk to go. We are asking for an inordinate expense for something that just has a possibility of being used.”
The council voted to require sidewalks along Tonewood Street but agreed Fairfield could pay a fee to the city in lieu of constructing the sidewalks along Pump Station Road.
Council approves plan for bike/pedestrian path
The council also voted to approve the Highway 21 bike/pedestrian path although some council members didn’t agree with the plan’s design.
“In essence here, the citizens have lost about $120,000 because of a mistake,” Councilman John Staford explained. “I want some reassurances that something like this won’t happen again.”
The mistake he was referencing was a request by city staff to design the plan with 12-foot berm to build the path on as opposed to the customary 10-foot berm normally required by the NCDOT. The state only authorized payment for a 10-foot berm, leaving the remaining two feet to be paid for by the city.
“Because the plan has already been requested and completed, to request a 10-foot berm at this point would require a completely new design,” explained Sherry Ashley, assistant planning director. “We can do that, but the $105,000 savings on removing the two feet, would cost the city $68,000 to have the design redrawn.”
Reworking the design would also delay the project by six months, according to Ashley.
In the end, the council voted to accept the plan with the 12-foot berm.