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Planned “boutique hotel” worries Doylestown neighbors


Doylestown Borough residents living near a planned downtown hotel raised multiple concerns about the ambitious project during a zoning commission meeting last week.

About 100 people, most from side streets surrounding 57 W. Court St., had questions about everything from the hotel’s anticipated parking needs to its four-story size, and worries about public safety from guests drinking at the 32-room establishment’s bar and 150-seat event space and then driving or walking around the neighborhood.

“This is grossly out of scale for the proposed location,” said Leslie Richards, in an interview after the meeting. Richards lives on Harvey Avenue, which runs behind the proposed hotel, and is part of a group of nearby residents hoping to influence plans for the development.

“We are a tight-knit group of neighbors,” said Richards, “and we hope we can prioritize the needs of the community. We’re open to finding solutions that work for the neighbors.”

Larry Thomson, a developer and borough resident, bought the property from the borough last year for $2.3 million. The building, which Thomson received permission to raze, was formerly home to the town’s administrative offices and police station. He also owns several key Doylestown properties, including the Lenape Building at the intersection of Main and State streets and McCaffrey’s Simply Fresh market on West State Street.

He declined, through his attorney, to comment after the meeting.

During the zoning meeting, Thomson’s attorney — Kellie McGowan — said the project needed a number of variances due to the irregular shape of the site.

“We’re pleased at the strong turnout and that the community was able to get a good look at the plan and hopefully get answers to their questions,” said borough manager John Davis in an email following the meeting. “The continuation will provide even more time for a thorough vetting.”

The zoning commission scheduled a meeting for Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. to further address the project.

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