Press-Republican

June 4, 2013

Microtel Inn planned in Malone

DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

MALONE — A plan to build a Microtel Inn and Suites on Finney Boulevard goes before the village Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday.

Chris LaBarge of Branch Commercial Development, which owns the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Route 11, is expected to make the presentation at 6 p.m. in the Village Board meeting room at 16 Elm St.



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The plan, developed by CAL Equities LLC, calls for a three-story, 63-room hotel to be built at 19 Finney Boulevard behind Rite-Aid Pharmacies.

The Finney Boulevard property was once the site of a synagogue and was considered a few years ago as a potential location for a new State Police barracks before the state instead built on Route 11 across from the Aldi’s Plaza.

RESIDENTIAL USE

The Zoning Board of Appeals was handed the decision after the Village Code Enforcement Office denied LaBarge a permit because the parcel where the hotel would be located is zoned for residential use, not commercial construction.

The property abuts St. Marks Avenue to the west. Residents were notified of the proposed project since they will be the most impacted by the hotel if it’s approved, said Zoning Board Chairman Darrel Deragon.

He said there may be concerns raised by neighbors worried about privacy since the hotel would overlook their homes and back yards.

Deragon said LaBarge addresses that issue in the packet of paperwork that the board received, saying the hotel would be built in such a way that the windows would not face the neighboring properties.

A State Department of Transportation right-of-way is needed to enter and exit the property since that section of Finney Boulevard is also State Route 37.

The Village Board would have to approve access to water and sewer services for the facility, Deragon said.

“He’s done the environmental studies, and if he follows all the suggestions and steps that you have to, there isn’t much (the neighbors) can do about it. There are other commercial businesses there.”

The entire parcel is 1.96 acres, and the Microtel would use about 1.6 acres.

The land was purchased for $80,000 in December 2005 by CAL Equities LLC of Walden, according to records on file in the Franklin County Clerk’s Office.

BOOST TO TAX BASE

Mayor Todd LePine said he knows a few details about the project and is pleased to see development in the village.

“That would really expand our tax base,” he said of the proposed hotel. ‘Wouldn’t that be nice?”

Village Trustee High Hill, who is also executive director of the Greater Malone Chamber of Commerce, said that, if approved, the hotel “would be the first major development opportunity in many, many years.

“And it dovetails nicely with the tourism initiatives and the need for tourism-related infrastructure,” he said.

LaBarge was in meetings Monday and did not return a call for comment.

He was recently named to the Franklin County Tourism Advisory Committee, which will determine how existing tourism funds are spent and how any money collected under a proposed 5-percent bed tax is used, if that new revenue stream is approved by the state.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com