Plan Commission Shows Support for Hotel, but Doesn’t Approve Concept Plan

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By: 
Cameron Bren
A rendition of how developers envision the TownePlace Suites, which they hope to build on Deming Way near Spectrum Brands.

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission reviewed the concept plan for a proposed four story, 87-unit hotel at 3055 Deming Way titled Towneplace Suites by Marriott. While the plan commission did not grant concept approval because of safety concerns raised by planning staff, there was support for the project on the site should the concerns be addressed.

Towneplace Suites would be an extended stay hotel between Spectrum Brands and Nursery Dr. just north of the confluence pond. The building would be oriented lengthwise to face Highway 12 and be surround by 88 parking spaces and two storm water ponds.

Planning and zoning administrator Mark Opitz said staff are concerned about the amount of impervious surface on the site, access to the site and the orientation to the street.

Optiz said should the development move forward staff are recommending another access point into the site be required because as proposed there is only one entrance and exit. 

Architect for the project Adam Fredendall from JLA Architects shared a maps of other similar hotel developments in Middleton indicating it they had a similar lot and building size. Optiz acknowledged that was the case but said new concerns have come up since the flood last August. 

Developer for the project Steve Dorn from Kinseth Hospitality said he felt the planning worked out given the restraints of the site. 

“We realize this is a tight site, but we feel like the layout of the site from an operational standpoint and further panning worked out really well,” Dorn said. 

He said the orientation was intentional toward Deming Way to try to put as little parking in front of the building as possible. 

Regarding the one access point Dorn said they cannot get access from Spectrum because the company is not willing to lose any parking spaces. 

Lee Bruce is the landowner who sold the site to Kinseth Hospitality and also owns the adjacent sites to the west and north. Dorn said Bruce is open to a second access point on the adjacent lot but cannot commit to anything yet without knowing what the sites will be used for. 

Dorn said the Plan Commission could require the future site to the west to include the access point.

Plan Commission member Kurt Paulsen asked if the site was in a flood plain. Dorn said it wasn’t, but Paulsen responded there was a chance of flooding given the storm last August. Dorn said he was aware of that and there was engineering underway to raise the elevation of the building. He also noted there would be no basement and all the mechanicals would be located on the roof. 

Plan Commission member Wayne Pferdehirt asked if the parking lot would have any electric vehicle charging stations. Dorn said that was not planned because there are no rental companies offering electric cars, but it could be added in the future should that change. 

Paulsen said he was comfortable with number of parking stalls being less than what is typically required. He said the hotel knows it's business and that more people are using ride hailing apps.

He asked if there was a plan to include any sustainability features like solar panels. Dorn said that was not planned but he would be willing to consider it. 

Paulsen said approval is really dependent on the fire department and they would be unlikely to approve the site plan with only one access point.

The plan has been sent to the fire department, but they have not yet heard back, Dorn told the commission. He asked if the they would support the project assuming it was approved by the fire department.

No plan commission member made a motion for concept approval.

Director of Community Development Abby Attoun recommended the hotel retain an easement for cross access and that be required of the site plan. Dorn said he was in agreement with Attoun and they could start working on that.

Despite the proposal failing to get concept approval, Paulsen encouraged the applicants to proceed.

“I think the hotel will do well there,” Paulsen said. "I think there is enough demand in that area.”

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