Marriott Pauses To Get Dwight On Board

Aliyya SwabyDevelopers of a proposed Marriott Residence Inn on Whalley Avenue were granted more time to talk with Dwight neighbors before continuing with their quest for zoning relief.

The Board of Zoning Appeals granted the continuance to Newport Hotel Group and its lawyer James Perito Tuesday night on their two original zoning requests, which seek to increase the size of the building and decrease the parking spaces. Perito has also submitted a new zoning request to the board, which asked to reduce the size of the side yard required for a hotel addition to 10 feet from 17.25 feet.

Board chair Patricia King suggested that the board decide on all three of the requests in tandem, instead of separating the new one from the older two. Board members unanimously approved the continuance, so the developers could have more time to interact with the community, a major stumbling block for the project throughout the process.

Representatives for the hotel project were not in attendance, and instead had sent a letter to the zoning board in advance.

For background information on this issue, click here, here, here, and here.

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posted by: ResidenceNewHaven on October 15, 2014  12:22pm

It is a shame that the Marriott could not constructively engage this community like LiveWorkLearnPlay has done on the hill.  In addition to making our urban environment more dense, dynamic and interesting, LiveWorkLearnPlay included the community and built trust from the get go.  In contrast, the Marriott brings much less to the table and has shown absolute disregard for the community at every turn of this zoning process.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on October 15, 2014  1:37pm

ResidenceNewHaven,

The coliseum site was city-owned land, so it’s not really comparable to this development, which proposes purchasing private land to develop a project that is of similar scale to others on Howe Street.

The example set by LiveWorkLearnPlay should have been followed for the Route 34 West development with CenterPlan and their project for the headquarters of Continuum of Care because, like the coliseum site, the land was city-owned.

What New Haven needs are clear master plans for development throughout the city that have real teeth in guiding appropriate development. Part of that will involve loosening zoning requirements in certain areas and instituting additional protections in other areas.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on October 15, 2014  2:10pm

Apples to Oranges.

The City owns the land for the LWLP development, so their reach out was part of the RFP process. (Plus they wants $20-$30 Million of State aid for streets cape improvements.)

Marriott is just trying to expand their hotel on land they already own.

PS—can someone please provide me with a substantive reason why this project shouldn’t go forward? (Besides mythical traffic and parking issues!) If we don’t want our taxes to go even higher, we need these types of developments to happen.

posted by: CT DRV on October 15, 2014  2:39pm

As the project continues through the public process, it’s clear it has hit the necessary roadblocks that stop wasteful, inefficient, and needless development. Think about it:

City plan voted it down. These are the folks in charge of making sure development fits the needs of the whole city.

The Community Management folks were stood up at last week’s meeting by the developer; these are the folks who will be directly impacted by any development.

Does this type of behavior on the part of the developer sound like sound, thoughtful, responsible development? The BZA should follow the wishes of the City Planners that have voted it down, and the developer should start the process anew, and begin day one with meeting the community.

posted by: ResidenceNewHaven on October 15, 2014  4:40pm

It’s more like apples to rotten onions.  LWLP is going to change New Haven’s downtown in a direction that makes New Haven a more dynamic and interesting city.  The Residence Inn just moves New Haven’s downtown development in the direction of the I-95 corridor.  LWLP went above and beyond what they had to do, but even Eblens sought to involve their neighbors early on.   

Instead of showing up to a couple of meetings and addressing their neighbor’s concerns, the Marriott developers have demonstrated multiple times that they don’t care at all about the neighborhood.  I, for one, don’t blame the neighbors for their distrust and concern, and believe it is time for the BZA to make the developer start over.