Aldermen OK plan for new hotel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 16, 2015

Aldermen OK plan for new hotel

By John Howell
Batesville hotel developer Indu Vaghela got the go-ahead last week from city officials who approved a variance and a waiver for construction of a Home to Suites by Hilton Hotel to proceed.

Vaghela, who has developed the extensive hotel/motel network in Batesville, requested a 60-foot height for the new structure, beyond the 35-foot maximum specified in the building code.

“Five stories?” Alderman Stan Harrison asked.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Four stories,” Code Administrator Pam Comer said.

“Maybe five stories for the next one,” Vaghela said, prompting laughter.

“That’s confidence, isn’t it?” Mayor Jerry Autrey said.

The new hotel will be constructed near the Comfort Suites that Vaghela and his family interests opened last year in the northeast quadrant of the I-55/Hwy. 6/278 intersection.

Aldermen granted his waiver request to delay for up to three years the required construction of a sidewalk required by the city’s building code.

The variance and waiver were both approved by the Batesville Planning Commission.
Aldermen unanimously approved Dr. W. T. Hudson’s request for approval of the final plat of the subdivision his property.

Approval was postponed at the June 16 meeting after several nearby residents raised concerns about the effect proposed construction might have on drainage.

“Blake (City Engineer Blake Mendrop) has confirmed to me that he doesn’t see a problem with any drainage or anything,” Comer said.

“It’s zoned R-7 right now, so no more than one (house) can be built there, if they ever decide to build there.”

“The only concern we had was the neighbors’ concern,” Alderman Eddie Nabors said.

“When they submit their plans in, wherever they’re going to situate a house, then we would have to address that at the time,” Mendrop said. “… I don’t see anything out of the ordinary that’s not in other property right around it.”

The mayor and aldermen also accepted the Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve the final plat of a one-lot subdivision on Harmon Road. Everett and Ruth Redd made the request for their Cedar Hill Subdivision.

Comer also passed around photos of the Bill Clayton property on Highway 6 West. A cleanup hearing had been set for the property. The photos showed the property had been cleaned up to Code Office specifications.