Planning Commission approves new hotel at Pizza Kastle property

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 10:43 AM CST
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On Tuesday morning, The Dothan Planning Commission voted to approve the development plan to build a four-story hotel at 3394 Ross Clark Circle where the old Pizza Kastle building stands.

The vote was 8-1 in favor of the developer.

When WTVY spoke to the developer

he expressed hopes that by working with the City and Dept. of Transportation and increasing surrounding landscaping the plans would be approved.

The Dothan Planning Commission expects it to be a great addition to the community.

“We're all looking for extra tax revenue to the city more people in our town. They buy gas they buy food so I think it's a win-win for our community,” says Chairman Jerry Coleman.

But not everyone agrees.

“The biggest concern for the residents I think is just their privacy and the value of their property and that was the reason why I opposed because they have a voice and they need to know that have a voice and their voice is heard,” says Dothan Planning Commission member Darrin Swan.

Swan, the only member of the board who voted against the plan, thinks there are plenty of other locations better suited for a hotel than near the garden district and folks who live there agree.

“It might not be what it will be in one year but you also have to look at 10 years, 15 years and 20 years and as their children grow in their backyards are no longer private they become a public where people can look down into,” says Swan.

Some residents asked for frosted windows in the hotel rooms facing their backyards.

But the planning commission says that’s up to the applicant.

What the developer has to follow is a 30 feet buffer rule which is what caused previous plans to fail.

“About four or five years ago we did have a hotel applicant come before us that met the requirements but did have some exceptions mainly around the buffer and the commission at that time voted to decline those exceptions that they wanted,” says Coleman.

The plan is to have a 30 feet wide landscape buffer made of 40 feet tall trees and a 6 feet tall privacy fence along the entire south property line which adjoins the residential properties.

The development team says the Alabama Department of Transportation will add a service road that will connect to the hotel driveway instead of Ross Clark Circle at a later date.

The developer must begin the project within 12-months. It's expected to take up to a year to complete.

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