Healdsburg hotel project well received

Plans for a new 39-room, four-story hotel in downtown Healdsburg are getting a generally positive reception from those who have gotten a glimpse of what it would look like.

In a town that is questioning the role of tourism and whether there needs to be a restriction on the size of new hotels, the latest project is garnering favorable reviews.

"They're in a range we think is acceptable to most people," said Bruce Abramson, member of Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions, which likely will pursue a ballot measure next year to limit the size of new hotels in Healdsburg.

"They did outreach to the community and they listened to the concerns," he said Wednesday "They kind of negotiated with us. We're happy they lowered the number of rooms."

Nicknamed "h3hotel," the four-story building is proposed at 227 Healdsburg Ave. on the site of a current parking lot less than a half-block south of the town plaza.

The hotel would be a sister property to the nearby h2hotel and the Hotel Healdsburg developed by the Sher family and Paolo Petrone, who also manages three hotels in Marin County.

With downtown parking a recurring concern in Healdsburg, critics of new hotel development were pleased to see 50parking spaces proposed in the new hotel, thanks to a type of lift technology on the ground floor that allows for cars to be stacked three high by a valet.

"We've had a really good experience with introducing this project to the community," said Circe Sher, a principal in the partnership behind the hotel. "So far, so good."

She spoke Wednesday night at a public informational meeting where details of the estimated $15million to $16 million project were unveiled.

Petrone told the audience of about 30 people that preserving the small-town feeling is a community concern and one they aim to incorporate, in addition to making it viable economically.

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