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Guest Opinion

4 stories, 32 rooms isn’t “boutique”


Living in the neighborhood of the proposed “boutique hotel,” I have wondered what would happen to Doylestown Borough Hall for what feels like decades, since the borough decided to move its offices and the state finally turned over the property.

At a quarter mile away, we are not as threatened with adverse consequences as those living on Harvey and Hamilton.

A former Bucks County planner told me years ago that the borough too often caved to developers’ or builders’ threats to sue. While I doubt that is true anymore, I do recall an example of “business over people” from a more recent time. We went to the borough to ask help with a foul odor that had filled our neighborhood and were told we live in a Central Residential zone, and that’s how it is. So, we went to the owner of the business who fixed the problem causing the smell. Was that our job?

The Doylestown Inn has 17 rooms. That’s ”boutique.” A four-story, 32-room place is not. If you cannot provide all the parking you need at the site and if you need multiple variances to complete the project, a small business is not what you have.

So, maybe 20 rooms and 2.5 floors would be a better fit for the site.

As anyone who has tried to park in the center of town will tell you, the notion that on-street parking can handle the hotel’s excess parking needs, is — how shall I say it? — bonkers.

The owner might consider under-the-building parking. Yes, it would add to the cost, but no matter what is done there, the owner will make scads of money.

The borough is a tourist destination and it generates a good living for a lot of business owners and provides jobs to many persons.

The question is: Will borough residents be driven out by overdevelopment?

Rick Howe lives in Doylestown Borough.

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