Planning commission approves William and Mary hotel plan with conditions

The William and Mary Real Estate Foundation bought the Days Inn at 902 Richmond Road with the intent of placing up to 180 students in much-needed housing.

On Wednesday, the Williamsburg Planning Commission heard contention from many members of the community.

They ultimately decided to let the foundation operate as planned -- but with a catch. Instead of 180 students, the school can only place 80 of its students there.

The foundation bought the Richmond Road hotel to help students from the college have a place to live while the college renovates some of its housing.

"The need here is to renovate Landrum Hall," said Vernon Geddy, a lawyer representing the foundation. The college has other renovations in mind as well, including at the Green and Gold Village.

Jeffrey Klee, an architectural historian at Colonial Williamsburg, was unhappy with just how tight the original number of students would be at the converted hotel.

"This would be a very high-density parcel," Klee said. "It doesn't matter if you have 180 Amish kids in there."

The commission agreed on 80 students eventually. The next move is for the proposal to go before city council.

"It doesn't surprise me that the issue of density was brought up," said Sam Jones William and Mary's senior vice president for finance and administration. "That was something we'd been hearing in our neighborhood meetings."

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