|By Tatiana Prophet, Daily Press,
Victorville, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 4, 2007 - VICTORVILLE -- Following a recent rejection by the Planning Commission, a company that wants to build a four-story, rent-by-the-week motel plans to appeal tonight to the City Council.
"We see a huge potential for people using this as permanent housing, but that's not the intent of a hotel," said Ryan McEachron, chairman of the Planning Commission. "If they want to build a hotel, they need to build it to the standards we've required."
The hotel proposal calls for 120 rooms with kitchenettes between Seventh Street and Interstate 15, just south of Midway Appliance.
The Victorville Planning Commission denied the company's application for a conditional-use permit in the commercial zone because the plans did not allow for any recreational space.
The company, which charges about $149 per week, only rents by the week.
City standards include 75 square feet of recreational space per room. But the company, which charges by the week and nothing less, has not included any recreational space -- pool, gym or balconies -- into its design.
At the Planning Commission hearing, seven hotel owners from Victorville came forward to oppose the plan, citing concerns about crime and claiming that if they had to build recreational space in their extended-stay hotels, Value Place should also.
Sam Patel of the Travel Inn Motel said the hotel would only become burdened with drugs and the city did not need anymore hotels.
In an interview, Aksha Patel , with Hansot Hotel Group, said "this is going to be a headache for the police department."
Hansot is building Cambria Suites off Mariposa Road. Aksha Patel acknowledged that the lower weekly rates would force other hotels to compete.
"It is competition because it goes on the same reservation system as us," she said. "And it's deteriorating the value of Victorville."
Value Place Franchise Services, the Wichita, Kan.-based company, stresses that its guests are temporary.
"They're looking for a place to stay on their way to someplace else," said Charles Bruce, executive vice president for brand strategy.
He added that the company does not build pools or gyms because that would raise the cost of the weekly rate.
One of the main objections by Commissioner Rob Kurth was that children who live there would have nothing to do but watch television.
Bruce said families will not be staying at the hotel long.
The hotel brand, founded by Residence Inn and Candlewood Suites creator Jack DeBoer, even touts its hotel as "very secure" and "very clean," Bruce said.
As evidence, Bruce said there are only four doors in and out of the hotel, and all rooms face inward. Only one key is given out and each key holder must provide the hotel with his or her driver's license -- which is scanned.
"How many criminals come to a hotel that scans their driver's license? Because those guys live in the shadows," Bruce said.
The Planning Commission vote to deny the project was unanimous. The City Council votes tonight, sometime after 7, at the Victorville City Hall, 14343 Civic Drive.
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