WAITE PARK -- Plans for a two-hotel and conference center in Waite Park has climbed another hurdle but not without causing some residents concern.

During tonight’s (Tuesday) Planning Commission meeting the board unanimously approved the platting and PUD of the proposed hotel site.

However residents voiced their concerned on the project during the public hearing portion of the meeting.

A handful of residents felt they were left in the dark during this process, have not received a notice about the project, and that the proposed project is already a done deal forcing them to move.

Silver Leaf Group President Don Evenson was in attendance for tonight’s hearing. He assured residents they have not closed on the property at this time and fully plan to follow all the laws during this procedure so everyone is properly notified.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says the approval of the plat and PUD helps get the ball rolling in this long process and still needs approval by the city council, including approval in tax-increment financing (TIF) money, before anything can move forward.

Should it be approved by the council, discussions between Silver Leaf and the property owner can continue and begin to workout all the details and laws they need to follow.

Back in November Evenson said they hoped to begin construction in April and have the hotels built by 2016. The hotels would also created 75-100 jobs.

This is one of two hotel projects planned for Waite Park. Miller Architects wants to build a 90-room Staybridge Suites extended-stay hotel and also a 120-room Holiday Inn, including a restaurant and bar on a vacant lot next to Menards along Highway 23.