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City, developers reach accord on Angelo’s Grove deal

City, developers reach accord on  Angelo’s Grove deal


City, developers reach accord on Angelo’s Grove deal

Compromise paves the way for new hotel

The developers of Angelo’s Grove and a proposed 67-room hotel have reached a compromise that will allow the property to have a curb cut to exit the property onto Angelo’s Grove Boulevard, but otherwise will have to adhere to all other design standards in the development.

Angelo’s Grove developer Kenny Farrell told the city council that after speaking with the hotel and property owners that he was satisfied that the agreement won’t compromise future development at Angelo’s Grove and can now support the project.

“It’s not exactly what everybody wanted in the beginning,” Farrell said.

“But it’s a reasonable compromise, I think everyone feels like. After all these weeks we are now supportive of the project and welcome a new hotel project to Angelo’s Grove.”

The city’s planning commission in May originally recommended the city council approve a plan for the hotel with a median cut on Angelo’s Grove Boulevard.

Farrell, however, was not notified that there would be a vote taken at that meeting and was not present to state his concerns. The planning commission also approved the cut without ever seeing a site plan.

Franklin Fogleman, who is selling the land, then sought to get the city council’s approval but the council agreed to delay the matter to its June meeting after Farrell objected to the media cut citing traffic concerns and its potential negative impact to future development at Angelo’s Grove.

Fogleman then came back at the June city council meeting with a revised site plan which did not include a median cut “at this time” but still showed a curb cut for a right turn only onto Angelo’s Grove Boulevard and the main entrance to the hotel still facing that roadway.

Farrell at that meeting reiterated his concerns over traffic and objected to the planning commission rubber stamping a site plan just to benefit one land sale which deviated from the overall master plan, something it has never done in the past.

The planning commission came back with a recommendation at its June meeting to approve a conceptual site plan with a curb cut only and contingent upon the developers turning in a grading and drainage plan and meeting all other design standards as well.

Mayor Frank Fogleman, who voted to approve the site plan at the May planning commission but abstained from taking part in any discussion at the later meetings, said the plan did not need a vote of the city council at this time because site approvals are the responsibility of the planning commission and City Planner Ed Cain and Building Inspector Jerry Kelley.

“This does not usually come before the city council,” Fogleman said. “It would be appropriate to at least let the public hear it one more time. But I don’t know that a vote of the council is involved in this because normally a site plan goes mainly to Ed or Jerry and comes to the planning commission. But that typically ends it.”

Cain agreed that site plans don’t normally come before the city council, but added that since this one involved a city street and generated a lot of public discussion that the planning commission felt it needed the council’s guidance.

“Since this one involved the question of a median cut on Angelo’s Grove Boulevard, we asked the council to give us approval because we felt it wasn’t a clear cut thing,” Cain said.

“So it seemed like a prudent thing. So we are just following up on that.”

Farrell thanked the council for giving him the opportunity to express his concerns, and singled out several individuals for praise for working out a compromise.

“I would generally say whenever two parties have differing or conflicting positions or goals one of the most important parts of the recipe is to find common goals,” Farrell said. “A lot of people have worked hard to do that during the few weeks that I have asked for a chance to speak to you.

Franklin (Fogleman) has worked hard on it. Matt Thompson has worked hard on it. And for that matter, the planning commission and you all as a body have at least given us an audience, and I am appreciative of that.”

Farrell also credited hotel owner Sam Patel, engineer Jack Bond, and Cain for helping throughout the process.

“He (Patel) and I had a fair amount of issue-to-issue communication and negotiation, and I have found him in the time we have been dealing with this issue to be reasonable,” Farrell said. “I think us reaching a compromise has a lot to do with Sam Patel being an honorable guy. Jack Bond offered a number of helpful design solutions and encouraged flexibility on my part. And Ed Cain, while we occasionally don’t agree, I found Ed throughout this process to have a balanced and fair approach.”

Farrell said the curb cut for exit only onto Angelo’s Grove Boulevard will be recorded in the deed.

“So I am happy to announce that predicated on all those people’s work, that we have an agreement that will include the buyer and seller providing the types of details that will only allow that one on the west side to be a single exit and curb cut only,” Farrell said.

By Mark Randall

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