January 16, 2018

Four-story hotel proposed for Blair Park

Observer courtesy image from Trudell Consulting Engineers
A drawing of the four-story hotel proposal for Blair Park Road.

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

The Williston Development Review Board has endorsed the concept of a four-story, 96-room hotel on Blair Park Road, sharing a parcel with the Williston Post Office and the Ski The East retail store.

The board approved the conceptual plan from the Vermont Hotel Group last Tuesday, agreeing to advance the application to the more detailed discretionary permit level of review.

The hotel would be located at 34 Blair Park Road, directly off Williston Road. It is the second hotel currently under Development Review Board consideration. In July, the board endorsed a conceptual plan for a three-story, 100-room hotel on Zephyr Road in the Finney Crossing development.

At 52 feet, the structure proposed for Blair Park is higher than the typical 36-foot building height allowed in the business park zoning district. But the additional height is allowable as an incentive if parking is built into the structure, Williston Senior Planner Matt Boulanger said.

The Vermont Hotel Group proposes underground parking.

“The project does meet the requirement to tap into the height incentive,” Boulanger said.

Because the building will be the highest in the neighborhood, the board requested the hotel group return with drawings showing the building located in different parts of the parcel. It is currently designed with its south side facing Williston Road.

“The board is concerned with the visual impact of this building from the street,” board member John Hemmelgarn said before the board unanimously approved the concept.

Abby Dery, senior project engineer at Trudell Consulting Engineers, said the hotel is planned without a restaurant or a pool. Trudell is also located on Blair Park Road. The architect on the project is G4 Design Studios of Burlington.

The board requested additional information on traffic, lighting, signage and parking.

“It is a legacy site that was built under old development standards going back as far as 1985,” Boulanger said. “The parking should be addressed sitewide when (the application) comes back in.”

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