Arroyo Grande commission critical of Tompkins’ hotel plan
December 2, 2015
City planning commissioners are requesting that developer Nick Tompkins redesign a hotel he is planning to build in the Village of Arroyo Grande. The proposed architecture does not fit the character of the Village, according to the planning commission majority. [Tribune]
Tompkins has plans to construct a 27,800 square foot 51-room inn at 325 E. Branch Street. The plan emulates coastal buildings in California with darker shutters and a sloped roof.
Planning Commissioners say those features are not appropriate for the 19th Century design that is apparent in most of the Village. The commission voted 3-1 Tuesday night to continue a hearing on the proposed hotel and to give Tompkins time to redesign the building to better fit the surroundings.
Commissioner Glenn Martin cast the lone dissenting vote. Commissioner Terry Fowler Payne recused herself from voting because her son lives in the area.
The planning commission previously approved a plan to open a 10,000 square foot grocery store at the location. Market owners were reluctant to commit to that small of a space, though, and the project fell through.
Tompkins has said he considers the new project to be more of a boutique inn than a hotel.
Inns are generally lower end hotels. Tompkins was absent at the planning commission meeting Tuesday because of an illness.
The majority of Arroyo Grande residents who spoke at the meeting said they would rather see a market at the location than the hotel Tompkins is planning. Residents also objected to the possibility the hotel would include a swimming pool and spa, saying it sends the wrong message about water conservation.
A water use analysis included in the project’s environmental impact report states the hotel would use 1.7 millions gallons per year.
Tompkins recently managed to gain final approval of a highly-contested mixed used development in Arroyo Grande. He is also attempting to build an 80-room hotel in downtown San Luis Obispo.