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Zoning Board Reorganization Brings Many Familiar Faces

Hotel application looming for later this month

The Howell Zoning Board of Adjustment held its annual reorganization meeting this week and for the second year Stephen Meier was chosen as the board's chairman. 

Meier said after 15 years he has chaired numerous meetings in a variety of capacities so another year at the helm of the dais is something he looks forward to. Last year the board went through many changes as Meier moved up to the chairmanship, but he said he expects this year to run smoothly. "Everybody's going to be more comfortable with it," he said. 

The chairman also said he expects the board to continue along the same path it began last year. "We're trying to take the board in a different direction than its been. More of a pure land use and holding more strictly to the master plan and ordinances." he said.

One change for this year is who will be seated next to Meier as longtime member Wendell Nanson was elected by the board as the new vice chairman. Nanson replaces Valeri Morone who served in the role last year. "It's time to move up," Nanson said after serving for 11 years.

With Meier's leadership Nanson said he does not believe his role will change much in his new position. "I don't try to get a list of the cases we have," he said. "I want to see what they bring forward and go from there. So many times you look into a case when you get it and you say this is good. Then you hear it and it's a totally different application."

The newest member of the board is Evelyn O'Donnell who served four years on the Planning Board. While she applied to be on both boards O'Donnell said she was glad to have a seat on zoning calling the two entities "totally different." 

When the board meets on Jan. 28 they are scheduled to hear an application from a group called LIS Enterprises. The application is for a four story 109 room hotel that would also include a 200 seat restaurant and a 400 seat conference and banquet center. The application would put the hotel at the intersection of Route 9 North and Northwoods Place. 

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 at the new Municipal Building.

Gate321 January 17, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Please approve the hotel. Every town around us has a decent hotel / banquet hall. All we have are places that charge by the hour.
michael silverstein January 17, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Been here over 22 years now, and hate the fact family have no place to stay.....
Howell Resident January 17, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Just what we need, more traffic on route 9. I don't disagree that Howell could benefit from a hotel, but at what cost?
Gate321 January 17, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I doubt traffic would increase significantly. You would not have guests moving in and out en masse. And from the affars I've been to, guests arrive over a course of time, not all at once. They certainly don't all leave at once. The side streets might be affected periodically, but Route 9 would probably not be impacted.
crystal January 19, 2013 at 02:42 AM
There are other places this Hotel can be built, so many abandon buildings already, tear them down & build there. Were they want to build this is just about in my back yard. There are MANY children that live back here & we don't need the extra traffic driving through here

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