Adults-Only Hotel Decision Left to Zoning Inspector

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Some residents who live and work in Orange Township are fighting a proposal to build an adults-only hotel in their community.

It was standing room only Monday inside Orange Township Hall.

The crowd came out to hear if the trustees would stop a hotel operator from developing in the township.

The operator wants to build Belamere Suites off Gooding Boulevard, off U.S. Route 23, but many in the area are against the adults-only hotel. They are citing the close proximity to the Orange Township Park, soccer fields and a daycare.     

Nicole Beach said she doesn’t understand the appeal of the location.

“I'm hoping he gets the message that there are not people in the community who are going to patronize his business,” Beach said.

While some are questioning the location, the operator of the hotel told 10TV that the location makes sense: it’s close to major highways, it’s approved for a hotel and he likes the potential customer base.

Many residents have been pushing the township trustees to vote down the proposal, but they found out on Monday that they don't have that authority; that's a duty left to the zoning inspector.  

According to Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Fowler, public opinion can't be considered.

“I would like to have thought that a community with the trustee's system would have a little bit more say about the kind of businesses that come into their neighborhood," said Beach.
“With all the people gathered here, I don't know how the zoning inspector can say this will still be preserving the welfare of the township," said Orange Township resident Gagan Agrawal.

If the zoning inspector approves the development, residents are able to file an appeal.

That appeal would be heard before the township board of zoning appeals.

Fowler said that board is also not able to factor in public comment.

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