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Residents appeal case of planned hotel

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Lisa Dunlap Photo Nearby residents of this former senior facility on North Kentucky Avenue have appealed a zoning decision that would allow the property to become a hotel.

The homeowners association of a residential community adjacent to a former senior facility has filed an appeal of a zoning decision that would allow the property to be converted into a hotel.

The appeal of the Jan. 28 decision by the city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission concerning the former Avamere senior living facility at 2801 N. Kentucky Ave. was filed the morning of Jan. 30, within the deadline required.

City Clerk Sharon Coll said a decision has not yet been made about when the Roswell City Council will hear the case.

Roger K. Castillo, the president of the Quail Village homeowners association, said the residents will meet soon to decide exactly how to proceed.

“Obviously, we are disappointed with the 4-3 decision,” Castillo said, “but we are going to be having a meeting to talk about this.”

He said the group might seek to talk with city councilors or with the property owner, Narendra Mistry.

Mistry, a Roswell businessman who has described himself as the owner of other hotels for many years, chose not to comment at this time.

During the Jan. 28 meeting, he told commission members that he wanted to be a good neighbor and that his plan for a 131-room hotel could be beneficial for the community. As part of the commission decision, he agreed to keep semi-trucks off the property and to build a solid fence, aesthetically similar to the standards of Quail Village, to separate the hotel from its neighbors.

He also explained that he had nothing to do with the decision to close the senior facility. Avamere of Roswell, which is now one of the properties owned by a Hong Kong company, made that decision in September 2019, about a year after it and its partners took over the property from Brookdale Senior Living. Avamere still operates an independent and assisted living facility directly to the east on North Pennsylvania Avenue.

The zoning decision changed Mistry’s Kentucky Avenue property from R-3 Residential to C-2 Community Commercial.

If it had remained R-3, commission members who voted for the rezoning explained, the property could have become apartments, a hospice, a rehabilitation center, a transitional home or a hospital. They said any of those uses probably would have raised some of the same concerns opponents of the project had expressed about increased traffic, decreased property values and potential crime increases.

Castillo said that he and other Quail Village residents are interested in doing “whatever is best for the community.”

“If it goes the way that Planning and Zoning did, then we want to work with Mr. Mistry about reaching some compromises,” he said.

Castillo said that Quail Village residents want to ban not only semi-trucks but oilfield trucks because of the narrowness of Kentucky Avenue, where a Catholic church and school sit, and they want Mistry’s verbal assurances about security to be part of a formal agreement. “He has said to others — and we want this to be part of the decision rendered by City Council — that he would have security, security cameras and (good) lighting.”

Castillo was one of those who sent an objection prior to the Jan. 28 commission meeting. Many of the letters and emails came from Quail Village residents, but some came from other residents in the vicinity.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.