Residents take fight to city council over new hotel

April 6, 2010 6:52:40 AM PDT
Efforts to build a three-story hotel next to a residential neighborhood in Friendswood could come to an end. City leaders are considering changing zoning rules after hearing complaints from neighbors. The first reading of the zoning change no longer allowing hotels to be built in community shopping centers did pass. Residents just need a second reading to get approved as well, giving them a new tool to fight the planned hotel that could go up right next to their subdivision.

"Anyone who has a thought can bring it before this council. We've done that since November and you continue to fail to respond," said Rob Lynch.

Heated comments directed at the mayor of Friendswood and its city council members are all over a zoning change to try to stop a new hotel from being built near the Boca Raton subdivision. The three-story building, residents say, would peer into backyards and create traffic for children walking to nearby Windsong Intermediate School.

Citizens say zoning on the property was changed a few years back, allowing for a hotel. But they never received a notice from the City of Friendswood. They also say council members won't answer their questions about the zoning change.

"I anticipate highly that there is that written legal opinion and you'd be willing to give that to the owners in Boca Raton so they can deal with those issues from 2001," said Deirdre Brown. "I'd appreciate that. Is there legal written opinion?"

Friendswood Mayor David Smith replied, "We're not under any particular obligation to answer a question if we don't feel it's appropriate."

Brown said, "It's my understanding that nobody would like to answer those questions today. Thank you very much for your time."

Residents Monday night want another change in that zoning law to preclude hotel developments in community shopping strips, but there not sure the mayor and council are listening.

"I've been coming since November and the same things have been said again and again and again, and you sit silently," said Lynch.

The mayor told us that the residents of Friendswood were notified about the zoning change via classified ads in local papers a few years back. The second reading of the zoning change should occur in a few weeks.


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