Troubled hotel owners asking for more City Hall help

COLUMBIA, Mo 5/5/13 (Beat Byte) -- Trails, downtown beautification, parking for Tiger Hotel guests, and parking regulations for neighbors beleaguered by student apartments are part of the Columbia City Council's agenda tomorrow night.

Tiger Hotel owner Glyn Laverick wants the City Council to approve a plan to install heated sidewalks, designer planters, and electrical service in front of the hotel on S. 8th Street.  

Proposed ordinance B124-13
would grant Laverick and his Columbia Hotel Investments a special permit for improvements benefiting the Tiger Hotel on city property.

Laverick -- the troubled Canadian impresario who bought the hotel two years ago with a promise to refurbish it in one year -- was back in the news last week, leading members of KOMU on another tour of renovated rooms and responding to former Councilman Larry Schuster's concerns about the Tiger Hotel TIF, a tax incentive package worth nearly $2 million.

Though Laverick told reporters the renovation is complete, he offered little more than a rehash of a press tour last year:  a trip to the 10th floor to view a finished suite, along with a glowing personal narrative.   City officials may question providing even more assistance until the project is a proven success.  

New sidewalks, wrought iron fencing, and a small bench in memory of long time Columbia Public School teacher Beulah Ralph may take shape around Douglass High School after a public hearing on Ordinance B109-8.

Hotels will pay a 5-star fee to City Hall for each parking space guests use for check-in under B120-13.  The ordinance would provide three unmetered parking spaces to the Tiger Hotel for a $1,600.00 annual fee per space.  Fail to pay the fee and the meters return.

Ordinance B121-13 aims to further reduce parking problems around St. James, Hubbell St., and Park Ave. in the wake of some 700 new student apartments. The ordinance expands the so-called North Village Parking District.

(But just as this parking policy issue reaches resolution, another one is heating up:  disputes over so-called "shared driveways," a planning blunder that inconveniences the entire Central City.   With a greater influx of renters, more property owners are disputing long-shared driveway access, potentially forcing hundreds of car owners to park on the street.  The Heart Beat will examine this growing controversy in a later issue).

Council members will examine a Mizzou-led survey that finds 94% of 150 property owners living within 200 yards of the MKT trail are satisfied with its impact on their lives.

Columbia City Council May 6 agenda