Nova Scotia

Lunenburg town council to consider controversial hotel proposal

Richard Homburg, the owner of the Lunenburg Arms Hotel, wants to demolish an adjacent building to build an addition with 14 more units. The plans also includes the construction of a two level parking structure with 30 more "micro suites" with kitchenettes above the parking.

Expansion plans opposed by people who attended planning meeting

The Lunenburg Arms is shown. The owner wants to expand the hotel. (Google Streetview)

Town council in Lunenburg, N.S., will consider a request that could allow for the expansion of a hotel and add a parking garage, despite stiff opposition to the plan at a public forum last Tuesday.

Richard Homburg, the owner of the Lunenburg Arms Hotel, wants to demolish an adjacent building to build an addition with 14 more units.

"It would provide long-term jobs, economic growth and housing," said Gordie Kirkpatrick, a spokesperson for Homburg. "It would keep the property open 12 months of the year."

The plans also includes the construction of a two-level parking structure with 30 more "micro suites" with kitchenettes above the parking. The first step in the process is the consolidation of the adjacent lot with the hotel property.

Kirkpatrick said some of the suites could operate as rental units outside of the tourist season.

The white structure in this image shows where the project proponents want the addition to be located. The Lunenburg Arms is the blue building on the right. (Town of Lunenburg/YouTube)

But the hotel is located in what's know as Old Town Lunenburg, a designated world UNESCO site, and everyone else who spoke at the town planning committee meeting last week opposed the project.

"It will obscure our heritage and I think we will ultimately lose our World Heritage status," said Barry Olivella, who has lived in the area for 25 years. "I think it's an insult to the community and we should just say no."

A number of speakers also pointed out that new planning rules for Lunenburg were just approved two months ago and would have to be amended to allow the proposal to go ahead.

"I am very concerned about the precedent being set here," said Wilfred Moore. "I ask you not to break faith with supporters of the [community visioning] plan."

The planning committee voted in favour of sending the request for the consolidation of the lots to town council for consideration.

On Monday, the heritage advisory committee refused to endorse a separate application for the demolition of the existing building next to the hotel.

Council will discuss the proposal on Dec. 14.

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