Hotel developer Raj Patel of Sumter told the Santee Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, Sept. 17, that he has big plans for his newly acquired properties on Britain Street in Santee.
He wants to build a “tru by Hilton” hotel, with rooms a bit bigger than the industry average.
To make guest check-ins easier, Patel wants the driveway under the canopy at the entrance to be wide enough that two vehicles can be parked side-by-side.
He also wants to provide adequate space for motorists to safely navigate the 94-space parking lot.
However, his property isn’t quite big enough to accommodate the bigger rooms, the wider entrance area and the extra space in the parking lot – while keeping the building at least 10 feet away from one of the property lines.
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So he requested a variance that would let him build five feet nearer to the property line.
The board was informed that the neighboring property owner was properly notified of the variance request but did not contact the town to object to it or ask for more information.
Patel said the neighbor did not contact him either.
The board also sought and received assurances that the narrower space between the building and the property line would not impede emergency vehicles. It was stated that there is a parking lot on the other side of the line.
The board gave due deliberation of Patel’s request and his reasons for it, examined a drawing of the proposed footprint for improvements to the property, and then voted unanimously to grant the request.