WARRENSBURG — A group of neighbors are upset with the four-story hotel next door.
Residents in the 1000 block of Walnut Lane approached the City Council about the berm separating the houses on Walnut Lane and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, 1005 Hawthorn Boulevard.
David Ewing, a resident, spoke to the City Council at the June 24 and July 8 meetings to explain why he and other residents were upset.
Ewing stated during the June 24 meeting that he had sent a letter to Dorothy Krzyzostaniak, owner of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, to contact her about the issue but, as he stated, his letter was rejected. On July 8, Ewing stated he had made a mistake and the letter was returned to him because the address was undeliverable.
During both meetings, Ewing said that several conditions were not met in the construction of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites regarding the berm, outdoor lighting, noise and water runoff negatively affecting his property’s value and privacy.
“I don’t believe changes were appropriately addressed,” Ewing said.
Ewing said the architect of the hotel and neighbors negotiated and agreed to a 10-foot berm.
A site plan from August 2016 shows a berm directly behind the hotel parking lot, 10 feet high and 30 feet across that spans the full length of the north property line with a 30-foot buffer between the berm and the north property line, as well as a fence. This site plan was part of the conditional use permit for the hotel approved by the City Council on Aug. 8, 2016.
In March 2017, the City Council approved an amendment to the conditional use permit. The amendment was in regards to the grading plan, dated Feb. 23, 2017, that shows the grading of the berm. As part of the amended ordinance, the grading plan was adopted as the final site plan.
Community Director Barbara Carroll confirmed the berm shown on the grading plan in the amended ordinance took precedence to the defined berm dimensions in the original ordinance.
“The current berm is to the plan that was adopted March 2017,” Carroll said. “There were public hearings held at the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council.”
Carroll later stated the six-foot-high fence shown at 60 feet from the neighbors’ property line and the planting of pine trees were unaffected by the amended ordinance.
“In March of 2017 the developer came back and said some of this stuff isn’t working and asked the council to remove some of those requirements and the council voted to do so,” City Manager Harold Stewart explained to the City Council. “If I recall correctly, I spoke out publicly saying that it went against what was negotiated between the architect and the neighborhood....What is built there is what is built in accordance with what the council approved at that March (2017) meeting.”
Warrensburg City Prosecutor Douglas Harris confirmed there was little recourse the City Council could take since the ordinances had been approved.
Krzyzostaniak did not respond to an interview request from the Daily Star-Journal by press time.