Extended Stay

Flower Mound updated its ordinances to establish guidelines for extended stay hotels.

If an extended stay hotel is going to come to Flower Mound there will now be some regulations it must meet first.

Monday the Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance that modifies the definitions of a hotel and motel and creates a definition for an extended stay hotel.

This comes after the town approved a site plan for Home 2 Suites, an extended stay hotel at The River Walk at Central Park in October of 2018.

Lexin Murphy, the town’s director of planning services, said at the time of the approval the town had just one definition for lodging options, which was hotel or motel, and nothing about extended stay hotels.

The changes are to ensure the hotels that come to Flower Mound are used for a temporary stay and not as a residence, Murphy said.

The extended stay definition will be: a type of hotel or motel establishment designed to accommodate extended stays by the business traveler or extended vacation traveler with financial consideration being calculated on a nightly or weekly basis.

Murphy said the nightly and weekly calculation would discourage long-term residency.

“You don’t want it to be a rental unit,” Murphy said. “You want it to be a hotel.”

Additional criteria include on-site laundry services and the maintaining of booking information for a minimum of 60 days to verify how long rooms are being rented for.

Each room will be required to be a minimum of 425 square feet. The room sizes at Home2 Suites range from 432 square feet to 600 square feet.

A surveillance system on the property will also be required. Each guest room kitchen must include a sink with running water and at least three kitchen appliances. They will also be required to have 24-hour surveillance cameras and on-site monitors.

Extended stay hotels will be limited to a maximum of 40 units per acre and no more than one primary structure. By comparison, Home2 Suites is expected to be 81.5 units per acre. Courtyard by Marriott at The River Walk is 41.9 units per acre, and Tru by Hilton at The Point development will be 53.5 units per acre.

Originally the town staff proposed 23 units per acre. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Claudio Forest urged bumping up the limit.

“It doesn’t make sense that we’re putting in that small of a number to restrict this,” Forest said.

An extended stay hotel would require a specific use permit (SUP) in any district that allows a hotel in the town. Murphy said an SUP renewal would be required every five years, with the town sending property owners with 200 feet of the SUP area notification of the renewal.

Other things could require the SUP to return to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council for review, such as a complaint by 20 percent of the adjacent neighbors or if the hotel is sold or rebranded.

The town must be notified of a change in hotel ownership.

In addition, the definition of a hotel and motel were tightened up. Currently it states there must be a minimum of 12 units or guestrooms and provide customary hotel services. The amendment specifies “linen and housekeeping” as a service a lodging establishment must provide to be considered a hotel or motel. Also, the hotel or motel must be limited to one primary structure.

The change also adds criteria for the town’s overall hotel definition, such as including at least three amenities from a provided list, such as pools, saunas, fitness centers, etc.

New criteria also includes 10 percent of the lot area must be open space, and it must have on-site staff 24 hours a day, room entrances from interior corridors and a porte-cochere or covered parking area for the check-in.

 “These standards are really about long term,” Murphy said. “Once these facilities are there 10 to 15 years and maybe they sell it to someone else. Maybe the new owner isn’t as concerned about maintaining the high standards. This is just to give you some options to ensure you’re able to maintain the high standards and quality we have in Flower Mound.”

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