If all goes as planned, Mount Vernon will have a new Hampton Inn by 2025. The Mount Vernon Board of Zoning Appeals granted a height variance for the proposed 103-room hotel at its June 21, 2023, meeting. Vaibhav Patel of Rama Tika Management said the next step is getting zoning and building permits.

MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Board of Zoning Appeals granted two variances on Wednesday for a developer who plans to build a Hampton Inn on Venture Drive.

Vaibhav Patel, president of Rama Tika Management, requested height and setback variances for a four-story, 103-room hotel at 1560 Venture Drive.

City code limits the height of buildings in a General Business zone to 35 feet. The hotel’s highest point, the elevator shaft, tops out at 57 feet 10 inches. The architectural element for the Hampton Inn nameplate stands at 54 feet and the roof line at 49 feet.

The roof trusses are 40 feet six-and-three-quarter inches high.

Michael Percy, BZA chair, noted that the last height variance the BZA granted was 83 feet for the Wright Family Pavilion on the campus of Knox Community Hospital.

“That’s substantially higher than this one,” he said.

No one spoke in favor of or opposition to the variance. City Councilman and zoning chair Mike Hillier noted that granting the variance would set a precedent.

In her staff report, Development Services Manager Lacie Blankenhorn said a number of buildings in the GB district exceed the 35-foot maximum, including three on the KCH campus.

Patel also requested a side setback variance for a back patio. City code requires 15 feet; Patel asked for 10 feet.

Hampton Inn aerial

Blankenhorn said the side yard in question borders an area that cannot be developed due to the placement of a water line.

No one spoke in favor of or opposition to the side setback variance, nor did Blankenhorn receive any communication about the request. The BZA unanimously approved both variances.

R Chandat LLC bought the 2.1-acre parcel in 2018. Raj Chandat is the owner, president, and CEO of the LLC.

Mansfield-based Rama Tika Management is the development arm of R Chandat LLC.

Patel said the next step is getting zoning and building permits.

“If everything falls in line in terms of permits, we are looking to start [construction] some time this fall,” he said. “If we start this fall, we are hoping to open by the first quarter of 2025 at the latest.”

Patel said Rama Tika Management will manage the project, but the company always tries to hire local construction crews.

As far as what attracted the company to Mount Vernon, Patel said, “The city has been growing. The hotels are older. I think the community deserves a new product.”

A Christian ultrarunner who likes coffee and quilting

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