During Monday night’s Mesquite City Council pre-meeting, Jeff Armstrong, director of planning and development services, discussed possible text amendments to the zoning ordinances regarding regulations for the types of hotels.
Armstrong stated that Mesquite currently allows two types of hotels – general service and limited service.
General service hotels have internal hallways, a meeting room of a minimum of 4,000 square feet; a business center with two computers, internet and a printer; recreational facility and attached restaurant with 50 seats and a minimum of two meals. These types of hotels are allowed in several districts by right, but the city does not have any.
Limited service hotels are any hotel or motel that does not meet the general service requirements.
“The hotel industry has a lot more variety of hotels than that, and we thought that it might be appropriate to regulate those hotels,” Armstrong said. “(There’s) a little more range of hotels that would give council a little bit more flexibility, give the developer maybe a little more opportunity. So we’re looking at general service, select service, limited service and motel.”
Requirements for all hotels except motels include a building design with interior hallways, porte-cochere, no exterior balconies within 200 feet or residential unless blocked.
Services would be daily rates only, interior fitness center that is keyed entry, towel service, WiFi connectivity in all guess rooms and common areas, and prohibit full-size ovens/stoves in guest rooms.
A conditional use permit would be needed for those within 200 feet of a residential zone.
Requirements for general service hotels would include a building design with a minimum of 150 guest rooms each with a minimum of 275 square feet; brick pavers/stamped concrete in all porte-cochere and main drives; rooftop patio or common area with drink service or outdoor park with amenities.
Services would include a restaurant and three of the following - pantry, business center, meeting hall, enhanced lounge/lobby or indoor pool/spa.
Requirements for a select service hotel would include a building design with a minimum of 70 guest rooms each with a minimum of 150 square feet. Services would include restaurants, if provided would have to follow the same requirement has general service; if no restaurant, breakfast should be provided daily for guests; no kitchenettes allows; provide a pantry or small sundried shop; and two of the following – business center, meeting hall, enhanced lounge/lobby or indoor pool/spa.
Requirements for a limited service hotel would include a building design with a maximum of 69 guest rooms each with a minimum of 150 square feet.
Services should include breakfast daily for guests, no kitchenettes allowed; pantry or small sundried shop; and one of the following – business center, meeting hall, enhanced lounge/lobby or indoor pool/spa.
“General service hotels are currently permitted by right although we’re suggesting maybe striking them from industrial areas,” Armstrong said. “I don’t know if we really need or want hotels in industrial areas.”
Select service hotels are permitted by right in some districts and by conditional use permit/mixed use where it’s closer to residential, while limited service hotels require a conditional use permit.
“There’s a range of nice hotels that don’t meet the high standards of general service but might be appropriate for Mesquite, and instead of them coming in and us having to negotiate every little detail we have starting points, and maybe if they meet those starting points they can be by right or maybe it’s by conditional use permit,” Armstrong said. “I think it gives a little more opportunity for us to bring in some hotels that are appropriate and have some minimum standards that we’re certain will stay with it.”
Mayor Pro Tem Robert Miklos said, “I think that if the issue is we’re missing out on really nice hotels because of our room number I wouldn’t want us to give away anything without requiring a restaurant.”
“Some of your boutique hotels in cities that have less than 150 rooms all have restaurants as a part of it/next to it/attach to it, and because you have a restaurant it keeps the hotel from running down,” he added.
He also noted that when there’s a hotel with 60-70 rooms and no restaurants at all it’s running down after going through several owners.
“I think it’s much harder for a hotel to run down if it has a requirement/a restaurant being used,” Miklos said.
Other council members shared Miklos opinion on this.
Armstrong said the staff could look at general service and the room count, and would like to attract a boutique hotel to downtown.