UPPER PROVIDENCE — The road to a new boutique hotel is one step closer. Council announced consideration of Ordinance 523 which amends existing regulations for operation of hotels, motels and inns.

Among the provisions are limitations on the number of persons sleeping or congregating in a room; length of stay; and licensing of inspections of premises. These issues and others were expressed by residents in planning and council meetings on the application for a 58-room Avid Hotel, a brand of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).

According to township Solicitor Beth Naughton Beck, the ordinance was fairly standard with amendments to update what will be the first such establishment in the township. Architect Bob Linn, who has presented the application before township boards as well as Media Borough, provided input on the ordinance, Naughton Beck said.

The five-page ordinance draft includes subsections on licensing and inspection; building egress; property conditions; registration and security register; requirement for management person(s) to be on duty at all times; accessibility for appropriate officials and law enforcement; prohibition of cooking in rooms; and number of guests no greater than sleeping accommodations.

With regard to the length of stay, temporary lodging is limited to a maximum of 14 days. Exceptions to this are related to a guest’s employment and related need for temporary residence in excess of that period. Regulations require documentation to that effect.

Many or all of the information contained in the ordinance amendment reflect issues of the hotel’s impact on the neighborhood. Linn’s development also addressed traffic circulation, buffering and improvement of existing site conditions. Information provided during the preceding meetings stated the property owner has a 20-year franchise agreement with IHG.

The ordinance requires two readings for council, likely in September and October, with public comment permitted. The final land development plan presentation is expected in early fall.

In other business, council approved the final subdivision/land development for Darhum Construction at 923-925 N. Orange St. The plan for three new single family homes resulted after more than one developer and several iterations, all of which requested far more density that permitted. Project attorney Lee Stivale stated he appreciated all the assistance of council and township departments throughout the process.

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