Letter: Hotel project unfair competition, uneven playing field

Editor’s Note: The following letter is from Mr. Ash Patel. He is not related to the Patel family that owns the Village property under consideration for a county zoning change.

Editor:

I have been in Northern Arizona and the hospitality business since 1991. I am an owner, developer of a management company.  I also own the Holiday Inn Express in the Village of Oak Creek.  I wholeheartedly believe in the free market economy and understand the application by Mrs. Patel for a zone change to build a hotel. 

The reason why I am not in favor is because I have a fundamental issue of fairness when it comes to re-zoning like this one. The developer had bought her land knowing very well that she was acquiring land that is zoned residential and paid residential value for it ... with the intent to ask for rezoning after purchase. The unfair issue is that as a business owner, like others in the VOC, we all paid commercial land values when we acquired our assets and compete in the market place with those values. When buying this piece of land the developer knew the risks of the land not being re-zoned.

In this case of re-zoning, we would have a developer who would get preferred zoning while paying residential cost for her development land.  We would then compete with this new hotel while it has a lower entry price point than others. This is unfair.

I am not afraid of competition as that is what makes it fair and better for the consumer and our free market economy thrives.  What I am not in favor of is unfair competition and an uneven playing field for all the other existing hotel owners against this hotel development. I respect everyone’s property rights and just like the developer being able to ask for a re-zone, we also as citizens can ask for a denial of the rezoning as those are also our rights. Therefore, we demand a denial in the rezoning for this hotel application. 

Ash Patel

Southwest Hospitality Management

www.swhm.com

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