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The Redding Planning Commission voted today 5-1 in favor of passing Turtle Bay’s plan for a 130-room hotel to the City Council for a final decision.
The concerns addressed during the commission’s Sept. 14 meeting – pedestrian and bicycle traffic lanes, parking spaces and emergency access and escape routes – led commissioners then to vote for a continuance of the hotel proposal discussion to today’s meeting. Commissioner Cameron Middleton’s “no” vote today was based on what he perceived to be inadequate emergency access, said fellow commissioner Randy Smith.
“These issues have been there since the building (the Convention Center) was built in the 1970s,” Smith said, and mentioned that building a 130-room hotel on top of the existing concern is “but a fly on the elephant’s back. The elephant is still there.”
He went on to say there are sufficient access and escape routes currently in place in the event of an emergency.
Another concern brought up at the Sept. 14 meeting was inadequate pedestrian and bicycle lanes. After review, it was clear that there will be marked bicycle lanes on the pavement, as well as the additional 10-foot-wide sidewalk that loops around the monolith that was paved last year. And with the proposed 12-foot-wide promenade, that will make three paths for bicycle traffic, Smith said.
“The bike lanes will not be blocked or impacted by the construction of the hotel,” Smith said.
Smith further expressed concern that the Planning Commission went outside its scope of practice. Referring to the Sept. 14 meeting, he said, “We’re supposed to be concept-driven, not get into sidewalks and paint. We got into areas we shouldn’t have been.” Those details should be left to engineers and other suitable city departments, Smith said.
Joshua Corbelli likes to write stuff on paper, and that makes him a happy little jellybean. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org