Planning Commission approves 125-room hotel near San Diego State

The San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a four-story, 125-room hotel for a vacant 2-acre site near San Diego State University.

Neighborhood leaders have expressed support for the proposal, especially an agreement by the developer to share 25 of the hotel’s 125 parking spaces with the nearby College-Rolando library branch.

City officials said a shared-parking pact makes sense because the hotel’s heaviest use of the spaces will be during evening and overnight hours, while the library’s heaviest use will be during morning and afternoon hours.

Plans for the 68,000-square-foot hotel, which is expected to be a Hampton Inn, include a pool, breakfast area, conference room and gym located on the ground level.

City officials said the project would revitalize the area and provide needed hotel accommodations for tourists and families visiting students who attend the university.

The site has been vacant since a church that occupied it was demolished in 2017. Nearby residents say the site, while fenced off, has become a magnet for trash dumping and homeless people.

College Lutheran Church had occupied the site since 1955. A historical assessment determined that alterations to the building had been too significant to warrant preservation. The church had a shared-parking agreement with the library branch.

The site is on the north side of Montezuma Road between Reservoir Drive and El Cajon Boulevard.

It is bordered by the library to the west, single-family homes to the north, a shopping plaza anchored by a Ralphs supermarket to the east, and a mix of residential apartments and commercial uses to the south.

In October 2017, the College Area Community Planning Group unanimously supported the proposal.

Jose Reynoso, the group’s chairman, noted Thursday that community support is contingent on the shared-parking agreement with the library, which has only 15 on-site spaces for patrons now.

“The community is very excited to see a hotel in this location," he said. “We think it’s a small demand to require the property owner to share its access off Montezuma and 25 parking spaces with the city for library uses.”

david.garrick@sduniontribune.com (619) 269-8906 Twitter:@UTDavidGarrick

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