Oct. 12--Developer Roger Masters is apparently in no hurry to pick up building permits for a planned Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town Marathon.
The City Council raised concerns about the 95-room hotel project during a Planning Department report at Tuesday's Marathon City Council meeting.
Planning Director George Garrett informed the council that final permits are ready to pull and have been for some time.
"We've had communications with them multiple times a week pushing them," Garrett said. "They've been able to pick up their permits for a month."
City Manager Roger Hernstadt agreed and said Masters and partner Prime Hospitality Group have only themselves to blame for delays in seeing the hotel built.
"You all received calls saying we were holding them up. We completed everything we needed to complete and for the past month they've been holding themselves up," he said.
Last month, Spottswood Cos. got its final permits for its planned 125-room Hyatt at the former Faro Blanco Marine Resort, paying $254,000.
Demolition, site cleanup and landscaping work have been under way since June, but with the permits now pulled, that means contractor Coastal Construction has the go ahead to start building.
Masters said cost is not a problem for his permits -- $178,000. He also said "we should be pulling permits next week. We should go vertical sometime in November."
For Masters' hotel, he and the city negotiated for some time regarding how much the fees would cost. In particular, there was disagreement on the number of equivalent dwelling units the hotel would be charged as part of the citywide sewer system.
An equivalent dwelling unit, or EDU, refers to an estimated 167 gallons of water flow per day. That's the number assigned to residential homes, but businesses have a larger impact on the system. EDUs are $4,730 each.
The Marriott project was awarded 19 hotel room allocations doled out by the city in January. Marathon was awarded a pool of 100 new units by the state Cabinet last year in recognition of its progress in completing a central sewer system.
Councilwoman Ginger Snead inquired how long Masters could wait to pick up permits because a condition to awarding city units is that construction begin within a certain amount of time.
Garrett explained that the process was "revised to filter back to the building permit process."
"It doesn't have those guidelines as long as people are providing us information," Garrett said. He added that the city could still "kill an application" if the council so desires.
Garrett said once permits are pulled, "they have 18 months to finish the project." "That is absolutely clear in the transient unit ordinance," he said.