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Sarah Dollof ReportingA group of Lehi parents believes plans to build a new hotel will put their children in danger. They worry predators could stalk their children from the comfort of a rented room.
The start of school at Fox Hollow Elementary is still months away, but a number of mothers are already concerned. Developer Patterson Construction wants to build a five story extended stay hotel bordering the recess yard.
The parents' main concerns are drugs and people using the rooms with kitchens to cook meth, a growing problem across the country. Another concern is sex offenders; they're legally allowed to take up residence in one of the hotels for ten days without telling authorities.
One concerned mother, Susan Robbins, says, "They're going to be looking down on a playground with hundreds of children for a long period of time."
Daniella Dunn, another parent, says, "It's like dangling meat out, and I don't want my child to be a piece of meat."
The land surrounding the school is zoned commercial, so legally there's nothing wrong with building a hotel there. In fact, plans for the hotel were in the works long before ground was broken on the year old school.
Ross Welch, with Patterson Construction, said, "The school was aware of it and didn't see a risk in having a business park near the school. We'll have a 12 foot wall that will separate us from the school."
Patterson Construction was surprised to learn of the opposition to the hotel they want to develop, and plan to go ahead with what they say will be an upscale establishment that will serve those working at IM Flash Technology and Cabela's.
Ross Welch says, "It fits the zoning. It fits the area. What needs to happen, we think it will be a good addition to the north end of the county." Daniella Dunn, though, says, "He has the right to be here. He was here first, but sometimes the right to do something is not the right thing."
The Lehi City Council has postponed making a decision until next month. They want to hear the police department's opinion.