Plan Commission approves hotel conditional use request
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield’s Plan Commission has said “yes” to a conditional use request by Prairie Lodging LLC, after the city council turned down a request to create a Tax incremental Funding (TIF) district to assist Prairie Lodging in developing a hotel on the former site of the Knights of Columbus Hall.
In a 6-1 vote on Jan. 15, the commission granted approval that would allow for the development of a $5.2 million, 86-room Hampton Inn & Suites on the 3.5 acre parcel at 400 West Upham St., Marshfield, without city assistance.
Commission member William Pinker was the sole “no” vote on the request. Pinker said that he had carefully weighed out the matter by making a list of pros and cons.
“I’m concerned that the negatives outweigh the positives on this,” Pinker said. “Now, I recognize that there is a very definite economic consideration here to add to the economic mix within the community.”
Alderman Peter Hendler said he was originally opposed to the development, but since the decision by the council not to assist with the TIF district, the situation had changed.
“I was originally opposed to this; however, taking into consideration the city has the potential for growth here and the cost originally, with the TIF being denied at the last council meeting, the cost is still the same,” Hendler said.
“I was opposed to the fact that the city was supporting private entity with money – definitely for the road and for the storm sewers and for curb and gutter. But now, if the TIF is not there and these folks are going to have to go on their own, the city will still be faced with the storm sewers, curb and gutters, and perhaps even with the road; this prolongs the inevitable. I would be in favor if the council decides to support this decision. To me it is part of one and part of something else. The cost is still there to the city, but at least we are not giving the cost away to a private entity, which was one of the stumbling blocks I had in my mind.”
Mayor Bob McManus reiterated concerns by neighboring property owners on Leonhard Street.
“There are three things that they asked for,” Mayor McManus said. “Number one is that the south side of Leonhard, that it not be open to the public, and I believe that the way the plan is that it would just be for emergency use. The second item that they asked for is they would like to keep it to where they don’t have to have sidewalks on their side of the street. Then, to put up some kind of barrier there along Leonhard just so there would be some kind of separation there.”
With amendments made to the conditional use request, to ensure the residents’ items were addressed, the developer’s plan was approved.
A master sign plan request from the hotel developer was also approved. The requests will go to the Marshfield Common Council for final approval on Jan. 22.