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Doylestown neighbors mount push for smaller hotel project


Some Doylestown Borough residents living near a proposed hotel on West Court Street are increasing their efforts to have the scale and scope of the plan significantly reduced.

Last week, the loosely organized neighborhood group launched a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed to hire an attorney and started a petition drive to encourage the borough’s zoning hearing board not to approve the developer’s requested variances.

As of Monday, the fundraising drive had raised $8,015 of its $10,000-goal, with 48 donors logging contributions ranging from $20 to $500.

The zoning hearing board is scheduled to hold its second meeting on the project at 7 p.m. Wednesday to hear from critics of the variances requested for the plan. Developer Larry Thompson envisions a 32-room hotel, 70-seat restaurant and 120-person event space. Thompson and his attorney, Kellie McGowan will also provide testimony before the board.

Leslie Richards, who lives on one of the streets closest to the proposed hotel, has helped organize neighbors who are concerned that the building is too large and its uses will severely disrupt the community.

In a statement explaining why the fundraising is needed, Richards said, “We started a GoFundMe account so that everyone could have a chance to participate in the process which, we believe, will make them more likely to remain engaged in the issue over the long run. It’s been wonderful to see people step up — not just neighbors, but people from the surrounding area who are concerned about over development. It’s a way for people to express a wish for slower growth.”

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