Hotel proposal

The Cottage Grove Village Board is expected to vote Monday, Jan. 20, on the proposed general development plan for a Comfort Suites hotel in Commerce Park.

The general development plan for an 82-room hotel in Commerce Park was approved Wednesday, Jan. 8, by the Cottage Grove Plan Commission, and the village board is expected to take up the matter when it meets Monday, Jan. 20.

“We’re very excited about this project,” said Todd Rizzo, senior vice president with Greywolf Partners, the developer of the project. “There is a demand for a hotel.”

The hotel would be five stories tall and would be located south of bb Jack’s and north of the Arby’s and Kwik Trip sites. The 57,000-square-foot hotel would feature amenities such as an indoor pool, fitness room, meeting room, breakfast area and an outdoor space.

The Comfort Suites hotel would be owned, developed and operated by Greywolf, and he noted owner Joe Wagner is a Cottage Grove resident, owner of the strip mall to the north of the proposed hotel and co-owner of the bb Jack’s restaurant.

Rizzo said the hotel would feature 44 king suites and 38 double queen suites. It’s front will face south, and design will be among the first of a new branding effort put forth by Choice Hotels.

The developer is seeking several exceptions to existing zoning rules.

Those exceptions include:

– The proposed building is five stories tall; only four are allowed in the PO zoning.

– The proposed hotel is 64 feet all; the PO zoning maximum is 45 feet.

– The proposed landscape ratio is 14.4 percent, compared to a PO minimum of 25 percent.

– The floor area ratio of the project would be 1.0; the maximum allowed in the PO district is 0.3.

– There is no setback on the north side of the property; the village normally requires a 10-foot setback.

“The exceptions are – that’s the purpose of a planned unit development. So they’re doing a rezone with a planned unit development, and in that type of zoning, our code allows for the developer to work with the plan commission on agreeing on exceptions, but those exceptions, whatever they may be, are allowed within that district,” Village Administrator Matt Giese said.

He said some of the exceptions are similar to those for Summit Credit Union and Cottage Grove Commons, which is being built on the southwest corner of Highway N and Gaston Road.

“Usually with that, the benefit the village receives with the exceptions is more tax base, higher quality development, and it would be harder to write code in a smaller village that would be able to foresee something like this hotel or Summit or Cottage Grove Commons,” Giese said. “It would be hard to write code that specific.”

Erin Ruth, planning director, said the proposal is supported in the village’s comprehensive plan.

If approved by the village board, the next step will be for Greywolf Partners to put forth a precise implementation plan that would include specifics such as lighting, signage, colors and materials.

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