Agreement reached between Hanover Township and Days Inn
At its meeting Feb. 17, township Manager Sandra Pudliner gave Hanover Council her assessment of an agreement reached with the Days Inn Hotel on Airport Road.
In early February, the Days Inn had an overflow crowd that swamped the staff and pushed the hotel beyond its approved occupancy limits.
Pudliner noted management was willing to work out problems and live within the restrictions.
“They said they were nervous with the crowd that showed,” she said.
According to Pudliner, the number of guests expected at the event in the banquet room was 125, which was the number the room was reserved for, but over 500 showed up.
Pudliner reported on some of the history of the hotel.
“The developer originally applied for the hotel permit back in 1986,” she said. “It was supposed to be a Ramada and sat vacant for three years.” The original application date is important because the number of parking spaces was set based on parking requirements at the time.
Parking was a problem during the weekend festivities when people were parked in fire lanes.
“We never had a parking requirement for the banquet room back then,” Pudliner said. “The hotel originally was projected to have 276 rooms, but the number was reduced to 144.” Under the existing rules, the hotel is shy 70 spaces. Under the 1986 rules, however, the hotel had more parking available than the required minimum.
“They cannot ask for less parking than they have now,” township Solicitor Jackson Eaton said.
Councilman Bob Heimbecker pointed out there are two sheds on the property that could yield four additional spaces. According to Pudliner, the sheds were put in place to accommodate a remodeling project and never removed.
One of the agreements made by local management was to add security when large groups attend events.
“There was no security in place when the crowds came in,” she said. “Everyone was allowed into the banquet hall.”
Fire Chief and Code Enforcement Officer Robin Yoder ticketed some guests for parking in the fire lane.
“Management agreed that it was legitimate and said they had no problems if people were ticketed for parking in the fire lane,” Pudliner said.
According to Yoder, the situation became confrontational when he started issuing tickets, and he backed off to diffuse the problem.
Heimbecker wanted assurances that local officials would not be harassed.
Days Inn is open to suggestions on how to control crowds.
According to Pudliner, they have an arrangement with the airport to provide temporary parking if needed. They are committed to having security on site to ensure that occupancy rules are not violated.
A couple of other on-site violations were addressed by management and corrected.