Proposed 6-story hotel draws dissent from neighboring San Jose residents

A six-story hotel on Winchester Boulevard could get San Jose city council approval next week, despite strong opposition from local residents.

On Tuesday, councilors will vote on converting the land from residential to commercial and approve the developer’s plans to build a 119-room hotel on 1.69 acres at 1212 S. Winchester Blvd. If approved, the hotel will replace two formerly one-story commercial buildings.

The property is owned by the local dentist Dr. Adam Askari, of San Jose, who worked with Henry Cord of Cord Associates on the property development.

“It’s a monstrous building that just doesn’t fit in,” Jeff Williams, a resident who lives near the proposed hotel, told San Jose Spotlight.

A representation of the proposed Winchester Hotel on Winchester Boulevard. Image courtesy of San Jose.

Residents like Williams oppose the project and find that a six-story hotel would tower over residents of the single-story neighborhood. Some say it would also compromise the safety and comfort of the neighbors.

“We have been in this neighborhood for 30, 40, 50 years and it encroaches on the neighborhood,” said Vince Navarra, president of the Hamann Park Neighborhood Association.

Navarra said if approved, the hotel would add traffic that the neighborhood cannot accommodate. The hotel would interfere with the daily lives of local residents who go to work, the safety of the children walking to the school, which is half a mile away, and the pedestrians and cyclists on Winchester Boulevard.

Winchester Boulevard is a major thoroughfare that runs through San Jose and connects several cities from Santa Clara to Los Gatos. Several of its intersections, such as Hamilton Avenue and Stevens Creek Boulevard, are congested during rush hour. These intersections also book the location of the proposed hotel.

“The plans show there is no room for fire routes, for adequate parking, or for the Ubers and Lyfts to pick up visitors at the hotel (or) for bike lanes that we were promised,” Navarra said, adding that it wasn’t Fall is benefiting residents and violating elements of the San Jose Urban Village Plan.

In the city plan, the property for the planned hotel has a land use designation for “neighborhood / community business”, which is defined as flat land that can accommodate small commercial establishments with a “strong community connection and the provision of services and amenities for the community” .

San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, who represents District 1, which includes the proposed hotel grounds, said residents were for what the Urban Village Plan promised, but the hotel was not up to standard. He told San José Spotlight that he would not vote for the hotel.

“I think there could and should have been some concessions or compromises that I haven’t seen,” said Jones. “The building is just very dramatic and the surrounding communities were willing to compromise.”

For example, if it was a small bed and breakfast, residents probably wouldn’t mind, he said. However, the developers are hesitant to make major changes to the size and scale of the hotel. When asked to adapt the plan to meet community needs, the builder offered to plant cypress trees for neighboring neighbors at a cost of $ 1 million, Cord wrote in a letter to the city council. Cord went on to say it was an offer that was “flatly denied”.

“We are for development,” said resident Tom Morman. “We’re just looking for something more suitable for our neighborhood.”

The proposed 6-story hotel would be approximately 1.5 miles from Santana Row and the same distance from downtown Campbell. Image courtesy of San Jose.

Morman said neighbors asked Jones if they could build senior housing or a three-story apartment complex with retail space on the first floor in place of the hotel – a move Jones endorsed.

However, the developer’s plans were recommended by the town planning commission.

“S.Taff’s recommendation to approve the project is based on consistency with the general plan and Winchester Urban Village Plan for this area ”, Cheryl Wessling, spokeswoman for Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, San Jose told Spotlight. “Hotels play a key role in the economic dynamism of cities and fulfill tThe purpose is to provide accommodation to travelers. “

Local residents said the proposed hotel, which would be 1.5 miles from Santana Row and 1.5 miles from downtown Campbell, would be better suited to a number of other properties in the area – including others on the Urban Village plan .

“This vote will show whether the city council has a social conscience,” said Williams. “Are you really concerned about the citizens of the city? Or are you just worried about business? “

Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.

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