The Paso Robles Planning Commission approved on Tuesday night an application filed by Mary Quan proposing to construct a new free standing 66 room hotel with a 3,000 square foot conference area and separate spa building, located on the same site as the existing Oaks Hotel.

Because the Oaks Hotel has advertised in our company’s San Luis Obispo Visitor’s Guide, I recused myself from this public hearing.

Oaks Hotel expansion facts

1. The proposed project is located at 3002 Riverside Avenue.
2. The site is located within the RSC (Riverside Corridor) zoning district within the Uptown Town Centre Specific Plan. The General Plan Land Use designation is Commercial Service (CS).
3. Per Zoning Code §21.23B.030 Review Requirements, construction of buildings with 10,000 square feet or more requires approval of a Development Plan.
4. The project includes the development of a 3,000 square foot conference room, and a 2,000 square foot spa building as accessory uses to the hotel.
5. There are nine (9) existing native oak trees on or adjacent to the project site. An Arborist Report has been provided that includes measures to protect all the trees during construction. The report also indicates that the project has been designed in a manor to protect the trees.
6. Included with the development plan proposal is a request that the Planning Commission allow the new hotel building to exceed the 36-foot height limit established in the UTSP to allow for 46-feet. Also, is a request to allow an expanded front setback (adjacent to Riverside Avenue) of the hotel building to be approximately 40-feet from the property line as opposed to the 10-foot front setback required by the UTSP RSC zone. Both of the modifications requested for the new hotel building would be consistent with the height and setback of the existing hotel building.
7. The anticipated water use from the hotel expansion was reviewed by the Water Manager. It was verified that the existing Oaks Hotel uses an average of 7,000 gallons/day for the existing 90 room Hotel (78 gallons/day/room). Assuming the expansion is a duplicate of the existing hotel, it is expected that an additional 4600 gal/day of demand for the 66-room expansion. Based on this information and that fact that there are no known infrastructure deficiencies in the vicinity of the hotel, the City’s water system has sufficient capacity to satisfy the additional demand of the proposed hotel expansion.
8. The project is exempt under Article 19 of the California Environmental Quality Act, Categorical Exemptions (Class 32, §15332 In-Fill Development Projects).
9. The Development Review Committee (DRC) reviewed the project on April 6, 2015 and supported the overall site design and architecture for the project, including the request for increased building height and setbacks. The DRC recommended the Planning Commission approve this project.

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