Because not enough members showed up for Wednesday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, Levy’s application for the second phase of the expansion of Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham will be automatically approved. Work on Phase One of the hotel’s expansion, a renovation of the former restaurant property that will add 24 rooms, has already begun.
Levy initially submitted plans for the project last month, but the HPC ruled that the plans did not have enough information for them to act at that time.
He resubmitted the plans almost immediately, and HPC rules provide that if a decision is not made within 45 days of application, that the project will be automatically approved as submitted.
Levy’s two-story, 48-room planned addition would extend out parallel to the Oostanaula River with balconies facing the river.
“Now I can go ahead and start spending money for engineering,” Levy said after the HPC meeting. Since the property overlooks the river, Levy said he’s got to make sure the plans meet all the various requirements related to flood potential.
“If I can get engineering done I would say we can probably knock it out within three months to get it before the Building Department,” Levy said. “Then I can start looking for money for my parking lot.”
Levy’s reference was to the lot at Broad Street and Third Avenue where he has plans for another mixed-use commercial and residential development.
Wednesday’s session was the final session for HPC staff member Delmos Stone, who has accepted a post as community and economic development planner with the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.
Rome-Floyd Planning Department Director Sue Hiller will handle Stone’s duties until the city determines how it will deal with the vacancy.
“We’re re-evaluating how we do business in the Planning Department as a whole,” said Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich.
Hiller said the HPC would probably temporarily suspend its committee functions without a full-time staffer. She did say that the design guidelines committee would probably need to meet in the next 60 days to review work on the guidelines, which has been a project well more than a year in the making.