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Tuesday, Nov 13 2012 05:00 AM

Motel 6 battle continues

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Ken Hetge with his refund check from the City of Tehachapi for his Motel 6 appeal. Photo by Ed Gordon

An application for an appeal in response to the construction of a Motel 6 in the flight path of the Tehachapi Municipal Airport has been tabled -- at least for now.

That's because along with a Nov. 1 refund check made out to airport hanger owner Ken Hetge in the amount of $1,561, was a letter stating that the motel's applicant had severed his ties with Motel 6 and can no longer represent the project as a Motel 6 either as a definitive developer or as an intermediary developer.

A move that appears to allow the city to modify the developer's application to build a Motel X on the same plot located in Capital Hills, which is really the issue that pilots and airport hanger owners are most concerned.

The appeal

While the application as originally filed was clearly based on a Motel 6 to be built on the site, Hetge's appeal did not mention Motel 6.

The appeal was based solely on the lack of compliance with the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan and guidelines set forth by the state of California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics -- regardless of the motel's brand.

It was also based on the concerns of building a motel in the protected flight path of aircraft arriving and departing from the airport, and the map used to determine that path.

"The applicant has with drawn his application," said city Community Development Director David James. "He has apparently severed his ties with Motel 6 and he can't represent that project as a Motel 6 without that franchise agreement."

However, James went on to say that he believed the applicant's intentions, based on conversations, were to come back through with a new proposal.

"How we process that more than likely would be a revision to the approved project and go back to the planning commission," he said. "I would expect quite a deviation because he was trying to stay close to their prototype."

James also said that the city has made abundantly clear to the applicant that it could be another motel, and in no way wants anybody to think that the city is trying to suggest that "this thing has just gone away."

Nevertheless, James also pointed out that the project would eventfully have to go back to the commission, either as an amendment or a revision to the original plan.

The ongoing battle

Developer Terry Delamater, who insists the only reason he filed his withdrawal of the originally proposed motel, was that Motel 6 and he could not come up with a franchise agreement.

"The appeal has nothing to do as to whether it's a Motel 6 or not," he said. "If there's any motel they wouldn't like it."

With that, Delamater says has every intention of continuing to build his motel on the property located in Capital Hills, and soon he will file a modified site plan along with architectural renderings, and process a revision to the approved project.

That's omething that Hetge says he is prepared to fight. "Any proposal based on a modified plan must meet the airport compliance plan," he said. "It's a public safety issue."

"If any part of it is in the B1 zone, I'll be right back there waving my $1,561." Ken Hetge with refund check for Motel 6 appeal

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