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CommunitySan Marcos

Hotel project gets council’s approval

SAN MARCOS — A 128-room upscale hotel that could become an unofficial “entrance to San Marcos” received the blessing of the City Council on Jan. 23. 

The council voted 4-1 to approve the Carté Hotel, despite concerns from a resident about traffic, glare and the hotel’s height. 

Kristal Jabara voted against the proposal, which calls for a six-story structure along Montiel Road just east of Nordahl Road and north of Highway 78. She said the proposed building was too tall and modern looking for the neighborhood. 

The San Diego-based company is also building a 240-room, 14 story hotel in downtown San Diego. 

Carté representative Ried Floco, who is also listed as CEO of PierPoint Management LLC, a San Diego-based hospitality company, spoke to the council about the project. He said it was comparable to a Courtyard Marriott, and that room rates would run between $159 to $179 per night.

Floco said the hotel, which will be 60 feet tall with another 10 feet on top for mechanical equipment, is looking to attract clientele from nearby Cal State San Marcos, Palomar Hospital and businesses in Escondido. 

He estimates the hotel would generate $400,000 the first few years in transient occupancy tax for the city, and as much as $500,000 in the out years. 

City development services director Dahvia Lynch said the hotel would also pay between $300,000 to $500,000 in public facility fees, which pay for things such as interchange improvement on Highway 78 and other upkeep.

The Planning Commission split 4-3 when it approved the project back in December, amid concerns raised by resident Barbara Radtke about the building’s height, the vehicles trips it would generate and the glare off of the building’s glass panels.

A city staff report estimates the project will generate nearly 900 daily vehicle trips, but that the increase doesn’t lead to lower levels of services at surrounding intersections. 

And the hotel, when constructed, would be among the tallest buildings in the city. The council recently approved a parking structure and six-story building north of Cal State San Marcos, which would rival the project in height.

Radtke reiterated her concerns to the council at the meeting. 

“My opinion is that it will stick out like a sore thumb,” Radtke said. “This six-story building will be an annoyance and an occurrence that I would like to avoid.”