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October 17, 2019

Rocky Hill denies $10M hotel proposal

Rendering | Contributed In October, Rocky Hill officials denied a developer's proposed $10 million Woodsprings Suites Hotel on Silas Deane Highway. The developer is now challenging the decision in court.

Rocky Hill’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday unanimously denied a Westbrook developer’s proposal to build a $10 million hotel and restaurant on Silas Deane Highway.

Real estate developer Ron Lyman in recent months asked the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission for a special permit and site plan approval to allow construction of a four-story, 126-room hotel and 5,660-square-foot restaurant on the east side of Silas Deane Highway adjacent to the Interstate 91 northbound on-ramp at interchange 24. 

Lyman had received commitments from Woodsprings Suites Hotel and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant to occupy the two proposed buildings.

But residents at public hearings in recent weeks pushed back against the proposed extended-stay hotel, arguing the development would bring more crime and disruption to the area, meeting minutes show.
It was not immediately clear Thursday morning why the planning commission voted 4-0 against the hotel project. Lyman could not be reached for comment.

Lyman, who has owned the 12.91-acre property for about two decades, has proposed a number of unsuccessful developments there over that time, town officials say.

However, his latest proposal appeared to be gaining momentum as the town’s Economic Development Commission in July endorsed the proposal, stating that the development would add value to the Silas Deane Highway corridor by creating jobs and increasing the town’s grand list. The proposal also set aside a large portion of the property, which is zoned for commercial use, as open space.

According to plans, the hotel was expected to generate revenues of about $2.4 million a year, employing 11 full-time workers and other part-time staffers.

The LongHorn Steakhouse, meantime, was to employ up to 70 workers, and would have cost about $855,000 to build. 


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