Previous Item Print Next Item

January 17, 2019, City Council Regular Meeting
7. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance Regarding Inns (Petitioner: City of Savannah)
Strategic Priority
Good Government

The Mayor & Aldermen continued this Zoning Hearing from the January 3, 2019 City Council Regular Meeting.

City of Savannah, Petitioner (File No. 18-002580-ZA) is recommending approval of a rezoning text amendment to Article A, Section 8-3002 (Definitions).

In 2017, the City of Savannah adopted Article P of the zoning ordinance entitled Hotel Development Overlay District, which, among other changes, amended several definitions related to lodging uses including Hotels, Motels and Inns. The City has found that it is necessary to provide additional clarity to the definition of Inn in order to differentiate from other lodging uses. City staff has found that certain language in some of the lodging definitions has inadvertently permitted some property owners to circumvent the regulations associated with Short-Term Vacation Rentals.

The City of Savannah has worked with stakeholders in the hospitality industry to balance the potential impacts of short-term lodging uses on permanent residents. The proposed language change for the definition of Inn, should help clarify the difference, in terms of requirements, and allow permit officials to more easily explain the difference in lodging uses.

On December 11, 2018, the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the amendment to the Inn definition.

On advice of legal council, staff recommends a further amendment on top of what was approved by the planning commission.

Sec. 8-3002. Definitions

Inn. - A lodging establishment for transient guests with no more than 15 guest rooms. Must be owner-occupied or provide 24-hour / 7 day a week onsite staff. Any on-premises use that is accessible by the general public, such as a restaurant, bar or event/assembly space, is a separate principal use and must be an allowed use in the base zoning district. Any on-premises use that is accessible only by hotel inn guest is an accessory us.

During the zoning hearing, Alderman Durrence proposed additional language to prevent inns from being located in close proximity to one another within the residential areas of the Hotel Overlay District. This concern stemmed from an application presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in November where the petitioner was requesting a parking variance for two parcels adjacent to each other that would be used as inns. The request was denied. However, if the request was approved, it could have created two inns with up to 30 rooms or the perception of a small hotel defined as a lodging accommodation of 16-75 rooms. The petition was in a location that prohibited small hotels based on the Hotel Overlay. The language below was crafted by staff to address Alderman Durrence’s concern:

An inn proposed for use or approval in the Hotel Development Overlay District where no new hotels are allowed shall not be permitted within 1,000 feet of another inn permitted by the City as measured by a straight line from the nearest point on the property line of such proposed use to the nearest point on the property line of another inn.



Bridget Lidy, Planning & Urban Design Director
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Inn Definition Draft Ordinance 18-002580-ZA 20190107.pdf
Planning Commission Recommendations 20181211
Memorandum from Director of Urban Planning and Design
Agenda Plus