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Monday, July 21, 2008

Chautauqua Lake Proposed Stow Hotel

 

Above is the proposed Stow Hotel design plan, as drawn by The Crump Firm Inc. of Memphis, Tenn.
P-J file photo

STOW - The North Harmony Planning Board will meet with hotel developer John McGraw at 7 p.m. Tuesday about his plans for the 31-acre Bootey Bay property in Stow.

According to Town Supervisor Sally Carlson, McGraw requested the meeting to present three options to the Planning Board.

 

''He did not submit anything other than a request to be heard before that board,'' Mrs. Carlson said recently. ''The meeting will be held at the Stow Senior Citizens building and will be open to the public, but will not have a public comment portion.''

In January, McGraw made two requests of the Town Board - to rezone a portion of the Bootey property and to act as lead agency during the State Environmental Quality Review. Looking to build something more than a hotel, McGraw has previously described his proposed project as a resort and has said that it will include a 10-story hotel with 156 rooms and 24 condominiums. A second 10-story structure was also included in his initial request - as the State Environmental Quality Review requires all possible development at a site to be discussed at once.

 

Since January, the Town Board has accepted lead agency status and the Planning Board has publicly reviewed McGraw's rezoning request. After several regular meetings and a public input session, Planning Board members decided they needed additional information before they could make any recommendation to the town on whether or not to create the new resort district. Town officials requested additional information in recent months, but had yet to hear back from McGraw until this request for a meeting.

 

A call to McGraw's attorneys late Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Since January, McGraw's idea of building a resort in Stow and his requests of the Town Board have been questioned and criticized by area residents opposed to the idea of a 10-story hotel in North Harmony. Residents have formed an organization, the Chautauqua Coalition for Responsible Development, and placed advertisements in The Post-Journal.

Online, the Chautauqua Coalition for Responsible Development describes its mission as balancing ''the ecological needs of Chautauqua Lake and the unique character of its surrounding communities with the need for greater economic prosperity through prudent development.'' More information about the group can be found online at www.savechautauqua.blogspot.com.

 

In June, Peter Walters organized a meeting at the Stow Senior Citizens building for members of the Coalition and others interested in the proposed hotel project.

''We are not opposed to development, but wanted to meet today because we do have some concerns about the proposed scale of this development,'' Walters said before introducing County Executive Greg Edwards at the June 27 meeting.

Edwards spoke at the meeting and answered questions on general topics about business and development in Chautauqua County as well as specific questions on the hotel project and how it might affect Stow.

 

''I think everybody in the room can agree that we all love Chautauqua Lake,'' Edwards said during the June meeting. ''Why else would we be here?''

 

The North Harmony Town Hall is located 3445 Old Bridge Road in Stow and can be reached by calling 789-3445. The Stow Senior Citizens building is located on Stow Road. For more information, visit www.townofnorthharmony.com.

 

For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 



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