Ridgeland extends hotel/motel moratorium

The 180-day moratorium on new hotel and motel construction in Ridgeland has been extended until October 31.

The moratorium was put into place in April to study zoning issues. The Ridgeland mayor and aldermen voted to extend the moratorium during a board meeting October 2.

The motion passed 4-2. Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier recused himself from discussion and the vote because of his work with the Kerioth Corporation.

Kerioth has plans for a hotel at the Township on Highland Colony Parkway. The moratorium specifically excludes hotels that might be built in any overlay district, including Jackson Street and the Township.

“The moratorium was put in place to review our current zoning classification,” Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard said. “We’ll possibly implement a separate hotel class. Included in the hotel classification, we would address the different hotel qualities.”

During the moratorium, the city is conducting a study with a combination of in-house and outside people to assess the industry and formulate a zoning class.

“The study is to help us better understand the hospitality industry in general so we can make a better decision on the zoning classification, if we were to put that in place,” Heard said.

“The board wanted to be sure. We’re getting a lot of requests for hotels,” Mayor Gene McGee previously told the Sun. “We want to use it in the best interest (of the city). We just want to look at it very carefully.”

 

The moratorium was extended when the board tabled a site plan and architectural review for three hotels — Tru by Hilton, Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express — until the first meeting in November, according to McGee.

“The study being done is on the city’s need for future hotels. It will be presented to the board at the next work session. It talks about the percentage of room rentals in the city, how the number of hotels looks compared to other cities, and if there’s still room for growth. We’re looking at the need.” 

The study is financed by the Ridgeland Tourism Commission, according to Heard, and studies the hotel and hospitality industry.

“We’re still waiting on the study that an outside consultant did for us. We had not received (the results) yet, so we did not want to take action until we heard the report. We all want the study before we approve a bunch of hotels.”

 

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