District 30 and Central High School District board member Elise Antonelli said she is in favor of code changes, but wanted to make sure that residents still had a voice in the process.
“I’m for the concept of hotel development and I’m for anything that will widen the tax base and bring taxes down for residents,” she said. “I’m just very cautious because I don’t think this village has, in my own personal experience, a good reputation for considering the needs of the residents.”
Grasso said the board can’t make any decisions that are contrary to the code. He noted that when the idea of bringing a hotel to the village about 15 to 20 years ago came up, residents quickly killed it, and may now regret it.
Sabatino highlighted some of the key changes to the section of the code that deals with hotels. There must be one common entrance, a 24-hour desk service in addition to one of more of the following services: maid, telephone or bellboy service or the furnishing or laundering of linens. The rooms must have “transient occupancy” which prevents people from making the room their home, and kitchen facilities are also prohibited in the rooms.
“You want to attract people that are going to use this for business, to stay over to visit family and tourism,” Sabatino said.