Hotel Cape Charles developer David Gammino attempted to change the zoning on Randolph from residential to commercial, which would have allowed the hotel to expand into lots that are adjacent to quiet single-family dwellings.
According to staff, rezoning the property from R-1 to C-1 in order to extend the hotel to Randolph Avenue could produce more traffic, parking, and loading activities along Randolph Avenue in this area, which 4 of 4 primarily consists of existing residential dwellings. Essentially, it means destroying the home town neighborhood feel.
The proposed extension of the hotel would still allow for shared parking, therefore exempting the hotel from complying with the town’s parking requirements.
Staff recommended denial of the zoning map amendment. In light of staff’s opposition, the application was withdrawn before the Planning Commission could weigh in.
The Hotel Cape Charles has been instrumental in the current Cape Charles renaissance. — David Gammino
Gammino and hotel are not new to controversy.
In 2011, the hotel was refused a certificate of occupancy for trying to pull a fast one on the Historic District Review Board. Gammino originally submitted plans to the Historic District Review Board showing
balconies constructed of wrought iron, which is what the Board approved.
Instead, the hotel was constructed with glass-walled balconies.
In a letter to Town Planner Tom Bonadeo, Gammino apologized for not sticking to the original plan. “In retrospect, I should have consulted with Town officials . . . my assumptions regarding historic guidelines are informed by many historic tax credit projects, but they are clearly inaccurate with respect to the Town standards. For this, I accept responsibility and apologize.”
Town Council eventually dropped to its knees and overturned the HDRB’s decision, and allowed the hotel to open. This led to two-thirds of the Historic District Review Board to resign in protest.