In a surprise move, Beachwood City Council voted Monday to hold the Aloft Hotel ordinance on the third reading, stalling its final vote for another meeting.
Council members were quiet about the reason, saying only that they were waiting for more information from landowner Goldberg Companies. Goldberg could not be reached for comment Monday night.
The vote was 5 to 1 to hold the ordinance. Fred Goodman recused himself and Saul Eisen voted against.
Councilmen Saul Eisen and Mel Jacobs did say that their planned trip to stay in an Aloft in the Chicago area was cancelled last minute. They had intended to visit the Aloft Hotels to tell Council about their stays.
Scott Berkowitz, the developer who is working with Starwood to push Aloft through, said he did not know why the vote was postponed, but he found out late Monday.
Council President Mark Mintz said after the meeting that Council would not schedule a special meeting to vote on the ordinance. If that holds true, council will not address the ordinance again until at least Dec. 5, the next regular council meeting and four days after the deadline Starwood has given Berkowitz to give them an answer about building in Beachwood.
Berkowitz has said that the deadline does not necessarily mean the end of the line for the Aloft at Signature Square, but he will have to ask Starwood for an extension to move forward after that.
But Michael Silver, cofounder of the Beachwood Residents for Responsible Development, which opposes the project, alleged that the city is showing favoritism.
"It just goes to show the city's really catering to this one developer," he said. "They're really pushing to get a deal done."
Beachwood Patch will have more updates on this story as they become available.