Home Business City of Lakeland Proposes Tighter Regulations On Hotel Development

City of Lakeland Proposes Tighter Regulations On Hotel Development

The Super 8 motel located off I-40. New design standards would change how new hotels in the future would look in Lakeland.

In a bid to exert greater control over its hospitality industry, the City of Lakeland is considering new regulations that would significantly impact the development of future hotels. The move comes in the wake of the demolition of the Econo Lodge and the demolition of the Relax Inn which is now officially underway.

The Lakeland Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission (MPDRC), which held it’s monthly meeting on April 11th, unanimously recommended a zoning amendment aimed at imposing stricter placement and design standards for future hotels and motels on C-2 commercial properties. This recommendation will now be forwarded to the city’s Board of Commissioners (BOC) for further consideration.

In the MPDRC meeting, City Planning Director Paul Luker explained, “This is an effort to bring some control,” highlighting the need for a more regulated approach to hotel and motel development. Currently, hotels and motels are permitted in C-2 zoning districts. However, under the proposed changes, developers would be required to obtain a conditional use permit for such establishments, which would subject them to city oversight and tighter design controls.

One key stipulation of the proposed regulations is that future hotels must be at least three stories tall and feature room access from a central lobby and interior corridors, as opposed to direct access from the building’s perimeter. Conditional use permits, which are currently managed by the Board of Appeals, would be overseen by the Lakeland Design Review Commission under the new regulations.

The Board of Commissioners is set to deliberate on these proposed changes in their upcoming meeting, scheduled for this Thursday evening, April 18, 2024. If approved, these regulations would mark a significant shift in the city’s approach to hotel and motel development, aiming to enhance the quality and character of hospitality establishments within Lakeland.