AP NEWS

Lawsuit over Asheville hotel set for Supreme Court hearing

January 5, 2020 GMT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A costly three-year legal battle over a proposed hotel in downtown Asheville is set for a hearing before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The Citizen-Times reports arguments will be heard Monday in Raleigh in the case over the city’s denial of the project, a 185-room Embassy Suites hotel and parking deck.

City council members cited concerns about parking, traffic and a high concentration of hotels when they voted against the project in 2017. Hotels have become an increasingly fraught issue in the popular tourist destination. The city council implemented a one-year moratorium on new hotel construction in September.

Project developer Shaunak Patel told the newspaper his company had offered the city a $4.1 million settlement earlier in the year that would have included $2 million for the city’s affordable housing fund. He said the city turned down the offer, which also included a pledge to pay hotel workers a living wage.

An Asheville spokeswoman said the city does not comment on pending litigation.

Patel said the legal case and construction delays have cost his company over $6 million.