Hotel Avery: JMA Ventures to take amended parking plan back to neighbors | SierraSun.com

Hotel Avery: JMA Ventures to take amended parking plan back to neighbors

Jenell Schwab
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif and#8212; Proposed amendments to the Hotel Avery project raised so many concerns at last weekand#8217;s planning commission meeting that JMA Ventures spokesman David Tirman requested the topic be continued to give the developer extra time to talk with the projectand#8217;s neighbors.

and#8220;I was hoping you could sell me on the plan so I could be comfortable with it,and#8221; Commissioner Tom Murphy said to Tirman near the end of a three-hour public discussion last Wednesday at town hall.

The 47,299-square-foot Hotel Avery project is slated as infill development near the corner of Bridge and South River streets. The original plan included 40 condominium rooms, but last Wednesday Tirman requested approval to build, within the same footprint, 55 smaller standard hotel rooms instead.

The amended design would create seven ground floor hotel rooms in a space previously used for underground parking.

Additionally, the amendment includes an increase to the size of the hoteland#8217;s restaurant, from 2,962 square feet to 3,845 square feet, a change Tirman said would allow the site to offer a separate, kitchen-serviced space for groups.

Though the proposed amendment amounts to an increase in hotel size of less than 800 square feet spread out over three above-ground floors and an underground parking facility, the change creates a need for 21 additional offsite parking spaces.

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To accommodate the increase, Tirman and his associates presented a shared parking plan, which called for the hotel to share lots and spaces in town. Shared parking is a common solution to the parking needs of infill developments, planning staff said.

According to the plan, valets would run or drive to several off-site, predetermined lots in search of an appropriate parking space; chase cars would be used in some instances.

The plan also requires valets to discern whether walking guests and#8212; most likely restaurant patrons and#8212; had parked their car in allowable spaces. Guests parking in invalid locations would be asked to move their vehicles.

The plan raised several concerns over public safety, especially regarding the lack of dedicated turn lanes at the intersection of South River Street and Brockway Road.

Traffic added by Hotel Avery guests and the valet service would only increase the danger of an already unsafe intersection, members of the public and the commission noted.

Throughout the meeting, attendees visualized the valet system in play and expressed doubt of its overall feasibility.

Tirman defended the plan by saying it is adaptive and#8212; meaning it would adjust and respond to challenges and#8212; but his response did not satisfy his audience.

and#8220;I understand the constraints,and#8221; said commissioner Tom Murphy. and#8220;Thatand#8217;s what infill is, but Iand#8217;m feeling Iand#8217;m not seeing a viable solution.and#8221;

and#8220;Let me ask you point blank,and#8221; Commissioner Steve Ramos said to Tirman. and#8220;If you were to eliminate the seven rooms on the parking level, the project would not be economically viable?and#8221;

and#8220;Yes,and#8221; responded Tirman.

In the end, Tirman requested the matter be tabled. It will be discussed again at the April 11 planning commission meeting.