Developers want to construct a unique vacation lodge in Pacific that officials say would add attract tourists to the city.
Shane Mayer and Jennifer Blakely appeared before the planning and zoning commission Jan. 8, seeking a conditional use permit to operate a vacation rental facility at 9 Inez Lane.
The 10-acre building site dominates a corner lot that is visible to Interstate 44 and Highway OO in an R3 zoning district where a lodging facility is not a listed conditional use. However, planning and zoning consultant Shawn Seymour recommended approval of the facility saying it fit with the lifestyle of Pacific and could be an asset to the city.
Seymour also noted that a catchall clause in the zoning code authorizes the city to approve any use that is deemed appropriate if the planning and zoning commission recommends and the board of aldermen approves.
Drawings provided by JDA Architecture show a two-story structure with 15 sleeping rooms, and a series of public rooms for preparing food and dining, as well as rooms for games and TV.
“It’s not your traditional motel,” Mayer said.
Seymour recommended approval of the use for the site, urging commissioners to look at the concept.
“The idea is to play on a certain lifestyle, such as the recreational attraction this area of state has,” he said. “Who would be attracted to this type of lodging would be cyclists, visitors to Purina, Six Flags and area wineries.
Seymour said the facility is not designed for extended stay.
“This does not reach those people,” he said. “It reaches specific clientele that reaches out to this type of hotel bed and breakfast type. This is an interesting use and could be an asset to city.”
Voting 9-0, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the facility. But Commissioner Jim Smith cautioned the developer that the board of aldermen might not accept the proposed metal exterior of the building.
Smith questioned how the classification of Airbnb applied to the lodging establishment.
Jennifer Blakely explained that Airbnb uses a computer app that allows visitors to check availability and book lodging on the internet. She said it is now the most widely used booking tool in travel, and is used more than three times the number of rooms booked by major hotels.
The application goes before the board of aldermen for consideration this week.