Neighbors upset over proposed hotel

April 2, 2010 4:39:58 PM PDT
A plan to build a new hotel in Friendswood is not sitting well with people who live nearby and they're promising a fight. The idea involves building the three story hotel along FM 528 and San Joaquin Parkway. It's an area surrounded by neighborhoods. If built here this would be Friendswood's first hotel ever, but it's not being built without a fight.

On the rear of Mark Tilley's home he's placed a sign that speaks for itself in protesting the planned hotel.

"It just baffles us that they would let something like this be built right in the middle of a residential area," Tilley said.

Proposed to be built just beyond his back fence is a three story, 63 room mid-level hotel, the Sleep Inn and Suites. We're told it would be similar to other Sleep Inn properties around Houston and the country. The plans show only a retention pond and 160 feet separating the edge of the Boca Raton section one subdivision and the hotel. There are four other subdivisions and hundreds of homes nearby.

Charles Prendergast with the Boca Raton Homeowners' Association said, "We're 150,000 percent against it."

Prendergast is on the board of the Boca Raton Homeowners' Association. He says their primary concern is for children walking to and from nearby Windsong Intermediate School.

"This level of an enterprise tends to attract some criminal elements," Prendergast said.

Residents also worry about their privacy. At three stories tall, would that mean strangers peering into their backyards? And if so, might that affect their property values?

Tilley said, "We've been estimated anywhere from 20-25 percent decline."

A spokesperson for Choice Hotels says, "We evaluate a broad spectrum of business factors in issuing franchise agreements, including location, ownership and market demand."

Some, though, question that reasoning.

Homeowner Jackie Gibson said, "People don't drive from Galveston through to Alvin and need an overnight place to stay."

The property owner, Ajay Jain of Houston tells he has not yet fully secured the loan to build the hotel, saying, "I don't know if it's going to go through or not."

We'll see if the project comes closer to reality Monday night. That's the next time the city council and mayor meet to discuss the laws that affect this project.


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