I would like to welcome Mr. Mark Hollander and his new hotel to Astoria. Those 60 new rooms are something us here in Astoria cannot live without. I am glad that your building abides within the codes the city laid out for new construction. I can hardly wait until it is built.
I imagine a Sunday morning in July, after those 60 new room occupants take 60 showers and flush 60 times, they pile into 60 cars and plow onto Marine Drive, with all the cars that leave all the parking lots along scenic "hotel drive." If you want to get to the new co-op, you had better walk.
Codes could have been changed last year to limit size and height of riverfront construction, but empirical knowledge dictated that the council should focus on curbing homeowners from renting an extra room in their home. Last count: approximately 44 Airbnbs in Astoria ("Moratorium possible on homestay lodging," The Daily Astorian, May 11, 2017).
That amounts to 44 rooms that would accommodate 44 tourists, and they don't block anyone's view. These rooms have zero new impact on our infrastructure. We have been flushing these 44 toilets for decades. Their 44 cars are dispersed throughout the neighborhoods, not adding to the gridlock on Marine Drive.
Last year's council thought that anyone who had an opinion also had a financial interest in homestay lodging. Maybe, but what's so wrong with local homeowners making a few tourist dollars to help pay their taxes? Would you rather give all the money to Mr. Holland? Mr. Holland doesn't even live here.