The developer of Tri-Cities wants Kennevik to allow boutique hotels

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The house, located on top of Thompson Hill in southern Kennewick, was built in 1971. Landowner and developer Jose Chavala tried last year to reschedule the land to accommodate a boutique hotel.

Provided by Coldwell Banker Tomlinson

A Tri-Cities developer can be made another crack by adding a boutique hotel to his property on top of Kennevik Hill.

Last year, Tri-Cities developer Jose Chavala came to the Kenevik City Council with an ambitious plan to build his land on Thompson Hill in small hotel and add a few apartments to the piece the south side of the hill.

The The 2021 development proposal ultimately failed to receive council approval after a tough neighborhood feedback on apartmentsbut now Chavallo is asking the council to consider a zoning change to identify boutique hotels in the city.

Chaval’s latest attempt is a much narrower request.

The documents submitted so far only ask the city to identify boutique hotels and allow them to be used wherever traditional hotels can be built, as well as y Commercial neighborhoods are areas that allow you to grow your business for services in residential areas.

The scope of this request would allow Chavalo to manage the property on top of the hill as a hotel, but at the moment he has not offered any development packages – just a definition for boutique hotels.

1 - A bird's eye view of Thompson Hill
The house, located on top of Thompson Hill in southern Kennewick, was built in 1971. Landowner and developer Jose Chavala tried last year to reschedule the land to accommodate a boutique hotel. Provided by Coldwell Banker Tomlinson

The environmental impact study was approved by the state of Washington, and now the city is asking for public comment regarding the change.

This week, Chaval was unable to contact information about his plans for the property.

Urban Joint planning Director Anthony Muay told the Herald that the public commentary period opened on Thursday and ends on March 3rd. Anyone interested in commenting can contact city ​​planning department. After that, the proposal will be considered by the planning commission, and in case of approval – to the city executive committee.

The hearing of the planning commission is tentatively scheduled for March 21 and possibly in April in the council.

Defining a boutique

Under the proposed changes, the boutique hotel will be defined as a smaller, upscale hotel with a maximum of 100 rooms, which provides personalized services, is located in a structure that includes unique architectural features and furniture, and is in a location with views or views. promenade or has cultural amenities.

In addition, it would be necessary to provide outdoor facilities accessible to both guests and the public.

Thompson Hill in general.jpg
In 2021, the Panoramic Heights Homeowners Association opposed a proposed 40-acre high-density residential building along the south side of Thompson Hill in Kenevik. Bob Brody Three-city Herald

Exterior amenities may include a bicycle and footpaths that connect to a foreign system of paths, gardens, an open-air amphitheater, a pier or an exit to the river.

Boutique hotels should have a covered public entrance that protects guests from the elements.

The entrances will also need to have a branded element of the hotel, formulated with architectural details – such as columns, porticos and canopies – and include a water body, sculpture or public art.

Thompson Hill

Chavalo has been trying to explore his land on the hills for more than a decade.

Real estate documents show that in February 2009, he bought a house on top of a hill in southern Kenevik for $ 850,000. At the time he was known as 360 Cellars Estate Bed & Breakfast.

His first attempt housing development took place in the same year and would include changes that would accommodate a boutique hotel complex, a gourmet restaurant, a conference room, a spa, tasting shops and small retail stores associated with the resort.

This application failed, but he tried again in 2010 and 2011, and each time was rejected. The 3,400-square-foot home, built in 1971 by Ken Thompson, was put up for sale about eight years ago, but was never sold.

Last year, Chavala brought the city a more ambitious plan to build 40 acres, including the addition of a hotel.

Thompson_Hill_Dispute
In 2021, the Kenevik City Council voted against the construction of a hotel, restaurant and apartments on Thompson Hill in Three City. Neighbors have opposed the development, which developer Jose Chaval has been advocating for years. Jennifer King jking@tricityherald.com

Chavala has asked the city to rebuild the low-density land into high-density housing to allow the hotel to have a restaurant, spa and upscale conference rooms, as well as buildings that would include 350 luxury apartments on the south side.

At the time, he told the Herald that under his current zoning he could already have a separate restaurant, providing additional paperwork, but was looking for high density because, he said, it was the only zoning that would allow a boutique hotel and apartment.

Neighbors, especially in Panoramic Heights, strongly opposed the designation of high density, fearing that land use change could accommodate up to 1,100 apartments or other housing units on the hillside.

At that time, The Kennevik Planning Commission voted unanimously opposed changes to the city’s comprehensive land management plan to allow the Chavala project, and city officials also recommended against it.

And in May 2021, the city council voted 5-1 to refuse to change the zoning, although some said they supported aspects of the project.

“We need to find a way to make that happen,” board member Bill McKay said at the time. Businessman and developer of Tri-Cities, who is now the mayor was the only vote in favor.

Two other MPs who voted against the proposal are no longer on the council.

This story was originally published February 19, 2022 12:12.

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Cory is an award-winning investigative reporter. He joined the Tri-City Herald in December 2021 as an editor / reporter for housing and development. His past work can be found in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and other Texas newspapers. He was a member of the Writers Association in Education in 2019-2020 and has been featured in The Murder Tapes, Grave Mysteries and Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen.

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