Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hotel Plans Prompt Neighbor Complaints

Owners retract request for outdoor events after letters and comments

By Nao Braverman
A proposed conversion of a triplex apartment building at 308 N. Signal St. to a small hotel called Inn Harmony, has received an all but harmonious response from neighbors.
Owners of the five-bedroom inn with a manager in residence, a small kitchen, and a wine license for guests only was initially requesting approval of a two-story addition to the property as well as a permit for special events.
But after the city Planning Commission received a torrent of complaints, including 10 letters of disapproval, the owners retracted their request for outdoor events and additional construction.
Though there will be a change of use to the property, its conversion into a hotel is automatically granted, as that is one of the appropriate uses for that property said Kanika Kith, planner for the project.
Nearby Oak Street resident Carol Langford explained that many of the letters were triggered by recent wedding events held at the Signal Street location.
“No one could park in front of their own property and the noise was reverberating off of the walls,” she said.
Several neighbors mentioned in their complaints that the police had come to break up a wedding celebration on the evening of June 2. A call to the Police Department, however, confirmed that the police and ambulance vehicles were responding to a 911 hang-up call from the location that evening. No arrests or citations had been made that night according to Police Department officials.
Most of the complaints were regarding the request for outdoor events and the additional construction, which the property owners agreed to rescind, according to Kith.
The property owners Lee and Deborah Clukey were not available for comment.
The design review for the project is scheduled for the June 20 public hearing at the council chambers at 7:30 p.m.

1 comment:

Katzy said...

More Awareness Needed Because Issues Have Changed and People Need to Know How to Voice Concerns

Things have changed some since this article was published in the Ojai Valley News on Friday. If people want to speak out about the multiple and new! issues this project will raise, I want them to know how to do so and they have a very small window in which to act.

There are a few facts of interest that citizens of Ojai need to be made aware of immediately. 1.) In the newspaper article it said that Inn Harmony had retracted its desire to hold outdoor special functions and is no longer seeking to build the 2-story guest structure in question. However, after the article was written, the owners of Inn Harmony declared their new intentions which are to still seek a permit for outdoor special functions for up to 176 guests and now wish to build an additional 1-story structure instead of 2-story. There is also a question about whether the proposed property should maintain hotel status or not and what impact that might have. 2.) There is a town meeting at 7:30 pm, at 401 South Ventura St., City of Ojai on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 where people will address these issues. 3.) People who want their concerns considered by the planning commission prior to the meeting must submit letters by Monday, June 18th at 5:00 pm -- otherwise they may voice their concerns at the meeting. The place where people can email their letters or concerns is to: kith@ci.ojai.ca.us addressed to Kanika Kith. They can also submit hand-written letters at the 401 Ventura St. address. Letters written about this proposed project have already impacted the decisions being made, so people are encouraged to take the time to write if they want to make the most impact.

There is a small amount of time in which citizens can act and readers of the Ojai Valley News might think there is no risk since the article stated some facts that are now changed.