Willow Park city council approves hotel permit

Published on : Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Willow Park city council approved a special use permit and site plan for the Springhill Suites by Marriott 60-foot hotel that is proposed to be constructed behind The Shops at Willow Park.



During the public hearing Tuesday, community members Jean Martin and Marcy Galle questioned the process with concerns about the permit and Interstate 20 Overlay District.



WP Planning Consultant Betty Chew addressed the reason of the special use permit. Kyle Wilks, president of Wilks Development, said having a hotel has been the plan from the beginning.



Several other community members were in favor of the hotel. “If we deny a Marriott, everyone else is going to see that we didn’t open a Marriott and what we’re going to get next is not what we’re going to want,” Shannon Byrd, owner of Byrd Mill in The Shops at Willow Park, said. “We are losing revenue every day because we don’t have anywhere to house people. This just opens the doors for what’s to come in this town and I’m very proud to be a part of it.” Trinity Christian Academy Head of School Mike Skaggs is also for the hotel.



“We have families come in for a variety of events and we are constantly encouraging them to shop locally, but there is nowhere to stay locally,” Skaggs said. “I’m tired of having to encourage our people to stay on the west side of Fort Worth or in Weatherford and it’s exciting to me to have this opportunity.”



Others who spoke in favor of the hotel included Dr. Joshua Tarbay, owner of Parker County Brewing Company and Weatherford ISD board member; and developer Jim Martin.



The hotel will have a tax benefit for Willow Park and bring in revenue to the city, WP City Manager Bryan Grimes said. Grimes said as far as the 60-foot height of the hotel that some may be concerned about, there’s a number of reasons for height restrictions but the primary reason that has been brought up is fire protection. Later in the meeting, the council did approve a new ladder truck for the fire department.



A survey done by the city that received 113 responses showed that 87 residents said they think WP needs a hotel with 26 saying they do not think WP needs a hotel; 67 residents saying they would use the hotel and 46 saying they would not use it; 42 people saying they would use it for family lodging, 26 for event space rental, 18 for overnight getaways, nine for lodging for sporting events/tournaments; and 92 said they were aware hotel guests from out of town could help fund the city’s tax needs with 17 saying they are not aware.




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