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|March 1, 2018 City Council Regular Meeting|
20. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding the Hotel Development Overlay District and Lodging Establishments (Petitioner: City of Savannah)
The Mayor and Aldermen approved this text amendment request following a zoning hearing at the February 1, 2018, City Council Meeting. The action being considered now is the approval of an ordinance (second reading) to create an overlay district (File No. 17-005213-ZA). The first reading occurred at the February 14, 2018 City Council Meeting.
The City of Savannah is proposing to amend the Zoning Ordinance regarding lodging establishments and to create the Hotel Development Overlay District. The proposed overlay (Article P) is designed to define areas where hotels would and would not be permitted, and to identify areas where small and large hotels are appropriate. Stakeholders included the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Historic Savannah Foundation, and the Tourism/Hotel Industry. In addition, this amendment cleans up definitions and use standards for lodging establishments in Articles A and B of the ordinance.
The City of Savannah is also proposing to amend the Zoning Map to create the Hotel Development Overlay District (File No. 17-005888-ZA).
The Hotel Development Overlay District, which limits the location of large hotel development, is part of a larger effort to strike a quality-of-life balance downtown between residential and commercial development. On September 28, 2017, City Council adopted a Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance, which limits the number of vacation rentals allowed in each ward of the Historic District. On November 21, 2017, City Council approved a text amendment that allows greater density within residential developments in the Historic District to help incentivize residential development.
On January 12, 2018, the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the Hotel Development Overlay District and Lodging Establishments text amendment.
Tiras Petrea, Principal Zoning Inspector