By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
LEMON COVE – The rural community of Lemon Cove may get its first hotel in decades.
At its Aug. 22 meeting, the Tulare County Planning Commission approved a zone change on a strip of property at the northwest corner of Highways 198 and 216. The 34,000-square foot piece of property is owned by Lemon Cove resident Harinderpal Kaur who plans to combine it with an adjacent piece of property to the east to build the hotel. The property, which Kaur also owns, already includes a gas station and storage building. The zone change from agriculture to recreational, and the ensuing lot line adjustment were needed before the project could move forward.
In the project review, Kaur showed plans to build a three-story, 60-bed hotel on the site that will be serviced by its own septic tank and two additional water tanks. No renderings of the proposed hotel were presented to the commission.
If built, Lemon Cove would have the only hotel between Exeter and Three Rivers and likely grab a piece of the more than 1 million people who visit Sequoia National Park each year. A hotel would also benefit businesses in the area. John Elliott, who represents Lemon Cove on the commission, said the Main Squeeze Market, which opened across the highway last spring, should see an increase in people wanting freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade amidst the orange orchards on their way to the park. Commissioner Bill Whitlatch agreed it was “a good project” before motioning to authorize the zone change, which was unanimously approved by the planning commission.