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Photo courtesy of Metro Creative 

Brentwood leaders have finalized a series of regulatory changes intended to attract large retailers and hotels to the city.

The modifications will streamline requirements for large-scale retail businesses — 75,000 square feet and greater — interested in moving into town; permit hotel development on certain sites; increase allowable hotel heights in one area; and permit auto-fueling stations in certain spots, provided they are accessories to sizable retail anchors.

“What’s envisioned is that these changes would streamline the process and help us attract new hotels and major sales tax-generating retailers to the community,” said Assistant City Manager Terrence Grindall.

Specifically, the changes mean that large-scale retail businesses would no longer be differentiated from other retail uses and development of such businesses would be eased in certain areas. Key areas where this would apply include a city section bordered by Empire Avenue; Lone Tree Way; the Union Pacific Railroad and a separate area off Sand Creek Road near State Route 4.

Additional changes would permit and encourage hotel construction on a section of the John Muir Medical campus site near Balfour Road; allow hotels to be four stories and/or 60 feet (up from three stories and/or 50 feet), only in an area that covers a majority of The Streets of Brentwood, Sand Creek Crossing and the vacant land commercial site south of Sand Creek Road, adjacent to State Route 4, to more closely line up with hotel trends; and to permit auto-fueling stations in the same area, provided they are accessories to sizable retail anchors.

City leaders said the changes will ease the development process for prospective suitors, thus increasing the city’s attractiveness in a competitive market.

Such projects would still be subject to design review by the city’s planning commission — a process intended to ensure that a project fosters a good design character through consideration of aesthetic and functional relationships with surrounding development.

“These types of development are beneficial for the city’s economy, since they can generate significant local sales tax revenue, transient occupancy tax and produce secondary economic benefits as customers, employees and visitors patronize other nearby businesses,” said Senior Analyst Josh Ewen, who noted that staff analysis showed that completion of the new State Route 4 has created an opportunity for highly visible hotel sites.

Though city leaders approved several city staff-suggested changes, some were rejected.

Hotels will still be required to obtain a conditional use permit before moving into a section of the John Muir campus site near homes. The same rules apply to Sciortino Ranch, east of Brentwood Boulevard and west of Garin Parkway, on both sides of Sand Creek Road. Large-scale retail businesses, meanwhile, will be prohibited in a portion of Sciortino Ranch, an area that residents have long thought is not big enough for such development.

City Councilmember Karen Rarey indicated that residents’ quality of life weighed heavily in the decisions.

“I think the residents should have a say,” she said.

The slew of approved changes also includes a citywide prohibition on motels — largely to preserve the community’s safety, Grindall said.

Hotels offer room access through interior lobbies or hallways, while motel rooms can be reached through exterior doors, a city staff report explains. The report also notes that hotels are desirable for providing needed short-term accommodations for business or leisure travelers, while motels are often low-price-point lodging establishments, with no overnight management and minimal guest amenities or services. There are currently no motels in the city.

To view a staff report on the changes, see packet page 105 at bit.ly/33c9sX6.

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