City issues permit for Woodhaven Road hotel

A project to build a four-story hotel at the Knights Road Shopping Center is back on the table with a revised plan.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a zoning permit allowing a developer to build a four-story, 122-room hotel in the Knights Road Shopping Center.

A contentious proposal to build a hotel on Woodhaven Road, which just last month appeared to be dead, has been revived.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections on July 31 issued a zoning permit allowing a developer to build a four-story, 122-room hotel at 4000 Woodhaven Road in the Knights Road Shopping Center.

L&I spokeswoman Karen Guss told the Times that the department issued the permit “by right,” meaning there is no variance or community input required.

The developer, Posh Properties of Bethlehem, revised its plans, reducing the size of the property to 49,912 square feet. The original proposal had been for about 55,000 square feet.

Projects over 50,000 square feet that affect an adjacent residential area are required to go in front of the city’s Civic Design Review committee, which triggers a process that also includes a community meeting.

Residents have expressed serious concerns about the project since it was first introduced at a Millbrook Civic Association meeting last fall. In particular, neighbors have worried about traffic, parking and quality-of-life issues.

Joe Posh, managing partner at Posh Properties, said the hotel will be professionally managed by WoodSpring Suites, which operates a chain of extended-stay hotels.

“We don’t believe it will be a neighborhood detriment,” Posh said. 

Tenth District Councilman Brian O’Neill, who has been critical of the project, questioned the developer’s motives and claimed they made a “kind of a disingenuous move” by pulling a “switcheroo.”

Posh Properties’ attorney had emailed O’Neill and Millbrook Civic Association president John Kradzinski in June saying his client was planning to abandon a previous permit, which had been issued on the condition that the project go through the CDR process.

O’Neill’s office provided a copy of the email chain to the Times.

“They obviously didn’t intend to pull out as the email suggested,” he said.

O’Neill also said the new plans were designed to circumvent community input. Posh said avoiding the CDR process was one reason behind the revised design.

Kradzinski said the Millbrook Civic Association is still looking into the situation.

Posh Properties cannot start construction yet. The company has a zoning permit but still needs a building permit for the project. 

Zoning permits can be appealed within 30 days. ••