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Ashland hotel plans to turn suites into studios

Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites plans to convert the rooms in its suites building into studio apartments
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites plans to turn its suites into studio apartments. [Mail Tribune/file photo]

Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites is waiting for approval to turn a portion of the hotel into apartments to address local housing needs.

“We’re still very much a hotel,” said General Manager George Rogers. “We’re just going to allow long-term stays for some of our guests, if and when it’s approved.”

Rogers said the hotel, at 2525 Ashland St., made the decision because they felt they needed to respond to the housing crisis.

The change of use application shows the company wants to convert the 72 rooms in the hotel’s suites building into residential studio apartments.

Senior planner Derek Severson said he has not seen a hotel submit an application like this in his 25 years with the Ashland Department of Community Development.

“The housing crunch probably has business owners looking at ways they can respond,” Severson said.

The Community Development Department classifies this kind of land use in binary terms, Severson said. Buildings offering stays of 30 days or less are essentially hotels; those allowing habitation any longer than 30 days are essentially residential.

The hotel will decide on time limits for studio guests if its application is approved. Long-term guests also would have access to the hotel’s facilities, including the pool, tennis courts, gym, on-site laundry and picnic area.

Severson said the Community Development Department approved the application on the staff level June 24.

The only change to the hotel will be allowing residential occupation in the former suites building. The hotel plans no changes to the exterior of the buildings, the parking area or any other portion of the property.

The suites may need additional construction or building permits to come up to the codes required of long-term dwellings, Severson said.

Rogers did not comment on interior renovations.

Severson said the application is in a holding pattern until July 6. Until close of business that day, the public can ask for an appeal of the department’s decision. If there are no appeals, Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites will have the option to offer long-term occupancy July 7.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at mrothborne@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.