Holiday Inn comes to Ridgecrest

Location could impact RRH operations; Planning Commission approves project with some conditions

Holiday Inn  comes to  RidgecrestBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Developers of a four-story Holiday Inn Express received the go-ahead from the Ridgecrest Planning Commission last month. The 2.46 acre development, which includes a 103-room hotel, 112 parking spaces and a pad for additional retail development, was unanimously approved by the Commission with some conditions.

During the Aug. 28 Planning Commission meeting, John Kersey, NAWS China Lake community plans liaison officer, mentioned there were potential concerns regarding the height of the building and other noise and lighting concerns.

The city’s Administrative Analyst Heather Spurlock said the Navy confirmed they have no concerns with the project and the city’s municipal code already accounts for Dark Skies compliance in regards to lighting.

But Ridgecrest Regional Hospital CEO Jim Suver had other concerns.

“I would love to see that land developed, actually,” said Suver. “But we do have concerns about our heliport.”

The development is proposed to go in across the street, just south and east of the hospital, and behind AutoZone. In recent years, the hospital has needed to alter it’s patient transport flightpath due to complaints from residents of Heritage Village which butts up against the hospital from the north and west.

Suver said that after contacting the Federal Aviation Administration, he believed there would be issues regarding the hospital’s helipad.

“We will be boxed in and not be able to have any flightpaths if we honor our commitment to our neighbors in the back,” he said. “I am very, very concerned this is going to interfere with our ability to provide patient care and transport.”

“I think a discussion needs to occur and if things can be worked out, that is totally fine,” he added.

Project architect Bob Tuttle said that they were not aware of the problems posed by the helipad, but after confirming with developer Daljinder Chauhan they were willing to keep moving forward.

Tuttle added that they would work with Suver on problems they may face in regards to patient transport.

According to Suver, he has since met with the developers to discuss things further, but details were not available at press time.

Another condition that was struck from the development was the requirement of a cul-de-sac to allow emergency vehicles to turn around.

City Engineer Loren Culp determined that the project’s connected driveways were sufficient and the requirement was removed.

Other agencies including Kern County Fire Department and Caltrans have already reviewed and signed off on the project.

Pictured: Digital render of the developer’s Holiday Inn Express project.

Story First Published: 2018-09-14