News you need to be in the know: Hampton Inn for Three Rivers; STR ordinance clears Planning Commission; Camp Fire remembered

Soils testing at the site of the proposed 103-room Hampton Inn on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The site is located adjacent to and west of the former Indian Restaurant on the south side of Highway 198.

Hampton Inn making plans for Three Rivers 
On Tuesday, November 5, a team working for HTL Management of San Rafael, Calif., was in Three Rivers conducting soils testing on a combined 3.88-acre parcel west of the former Indian Restaurant. Plans are in the works to build the 103-room Hilton complex sited to the rear of the parcel.
According to Christopher Ott, Director of Hotel Operations, the company recently opened another Hampton Inn near Delano. They are enthusiastic about occupancy rates fueled by the location in the gateway community near the entrance to Sequoia National Park. The property has been owned since 2007 by Sake Sanghera of Hughson (Stanislaus County), Calif.
What it means: Growing visitation numbers at the nearby national parks have investors looking at developing lodging properties in Three Rivers. With key players looking to invest, a community generated mixed-use town center like Gary Cort’s plan looks attractive for investors and grant funding.
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On Wednesday, November 6, Charlie Norman, Chief of the Tulare County Fire Department, tightened the language regarding permitted fires in the Short Term Rentals Ordinance being recommended by the Planning Commission for the approval of the Board of Supervisors.

STR ordinance headed for BOS public hearing on November 19
After clarifying the fire text regulating short term rentals, the Planning Commission voted 4-0 in favor of sending the ordinance to the Board of Supervisors with one abstention from John Elliott, the District 1 (Three Rivers) commissioner. Elliott had asked planning staff to continue the action until the inspection process and the administrative fee could be determined.
Michael Washam, associate director of the Resource Management Agency (the County’s planning department), told the commissioners that the Board of Supervisors would determine the administrative process and set the fee after the ordinance is approved. The abstention is neither a yes or no vote on the recommendation that will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.
What it means: The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the STR ordinance at their Tuesday, November 19, meeting. There is still time to submit comments and prepare oral testimony. 3R News recorded the proceedings of the November 6 Planning Commission meeting and will post excerpts soon.
Camp Fire/Paradise remembered
On November 8, 2019, CAL FIRE’s Director Thom Porter will conduct a memorial service that will be broadcast to every CAL FIRE unit in the state. The purpose of the Director’s message is to remember, on its first anniversary, the deadliest wildfire in California history that killed 86 people and forever changed the way the world views California wildfires.
On October 25, 2019, four Tulare County planning commissioners were in Chico, Calif., to hear Camp/Paradise Fire Incident Commanders Dave Russell and John Messina relive the horrific events of one year ago and tell of lessons learned from that fateful day.
What it means: Wind-driven wildfire can overtake an entire town in minutes and render evacuation routes useless. With no time to prepare, fleeing motorists in Paradise faced fire walls on both sides of the town’s only evacuation route and abandoned their vehicles. That caused a backup for miles that trapped hundreds in gridlock and proved deadly for some.
Had it not been for heroic firefighters directing victims running for their lives to shelter in place, the death toll could have easily been 5,000, the incident commanders stated. 
Approximately 11,500 homes burned in Paradise, Calif., on November 8, 2018, 90 percent of the residences in the community. This lot on Pentz Road has had burned trees removed but little else has been done. Just 40 homes are currently under reconstruction one year later. The local water agency doesn’t expect to deliver clean water until 2021 because of fire-contaminated infrastructure.

8 thoughts on “News you need to be in the know: Hampton Inn for Three Rivers; STR ordinance clears Planning Commission; Camp Fire remembered

  • November 8, 2019 at 7:35 am

    If you have not watched a fire in paradise on Netflix you need to!!!

  • November 8, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I’m confused!! This looks like the property where Patel is planning his spa/hotel??? Where is the entrance for Patel’s project off 198? And how does Hampton fit in? Will there be 3 in a row???

    • November 9, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      Actually FIVE in a row, Patel is proposing to build THREE hotels. It appears the Hampton Inn would be built on a parcel adjacent to the Patel Complex. What type of TOT deal did The County cut with Mr. Ott? I have heard that the Patel hotel/spa/restaurant/resort development will enjoy a 75% rebate for the first 10-15 years of operation. Conservatively this could be around 5 million dollars. So it goes: The Developer gets money from transient occupancy tax, The County gets money from property, food, beverage tax and Three Rivers gets increased traffic, depleted resources and left in the dark.

  • November 9, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Another hotel ??? Whoever thinks it’s better to have hotels rather than responsibly run, good neighbor short term vacation rentals is nuts . Or has bought hook line and sinker the official party line of the hotel industry who has lobbied staff at the county level, not just here but around the country. Unbelievable attack on our infrastructure, our natural resources, our traffic situation, and our reputation as a charming small town. Home-sharing benefits our locals; in a no industry no employer environment like little else can.

  • November 11, 2019 at 8:48 am

    The 1980 Three Rivers Community Plan contemplated a Shakespearean festival, in the acreage where Hotel Row is contemplating going in. We could have cut them off @ past.

  • November 13, 2019 at 8:22 am

    We saw so much 3R NEWS about the Patel Group so why are we just now hearing about this Hilton project? Is it just going forward?
    Here is yet another good reason to look into incorporation of Three Rivers!

  • November 13, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    This is what happens when you have poor planning ,not enough local input ,and a county that sees only $$
    I recently passed through Oakhurst pop. 13,300
    They are building 3 high rises, all in a row. A Hampton Inn, a Hilton, and a Holiday Inn.
    I would love to post a photo here.


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