A developer has vowed to appeal a decision by the German Village Commission to effectively defeat the construction of a boutique hotel at 31-35 E. Livingston Ave.
Michael Casey of Casey Associates said he would appeal the decision through the city of Columbus after the commission’s 6-1 vote March 3 against the McGown Hotel.
The commission rejected a certificate of appropriateness for the developer, who has proposed a 5-story, 127-room hotel at the southeast corner of East Livingston and South Pearl Street.
The commission reviews projects to determine if they comply with neighborhood architectural guidelines, among other duties.
Casey and other representatives of the company told the commission they had reduced the number of hotel rooms by eight, cut 5,000 square feet from the size of the hotel and exchanged building a third-level meeting space with a presidential suite that would have a walk-out private balcony.
But commissioners and those who spoke at the meeting said the height, mass and architectural elements were inconsistent with the historic district.
“It just does not meet the guidelines,” said commission member Edward Thiell, who sided with members Anthony Hartke, Charissa Durst, Karen McCoy, Jeff Ferriell and Jay Panzer in rejecting the plan. Brent Foley cast the only vote for it.
A dozen residents and representatives of historic preservation in the village and city spoke against the project, saying it would be physically and visually intrusive and wouldn’t be compatible with the neighborhood or its architectural guidelines.
“Throughout the years, development trends have come and gone,” said Delilah Lopez, executive director of the German Village Society. “The economy boomed and busted and boomed again.
“What hasn’t changed is the partnership between the society, the commission and the city of Columbus that ensures German Village stays a national example of best practices in historic preservation and driver of tourism in central Ohio.”
Helen Speiser was the only person in the audience to speak in favor of the hotel.
“There’s a lot of support for the project in our neighborhood,” Speiser said.