CONYERS -- The City Council approved a zoning change Wednesday night that will bring a local hotel into the correct zoning classification.
Attorney Joel Haber, representing owner UMA Global Hotel LLC of Stockbridge, asked that the council approve the zoning change from Industrial-Distribution (ID) to Highway Service Business (HSB).
Haber explained that the building, originally the Holiday Inn at 1351 Dogwood Drive but now part of the Motel 6 franchise, has been on the property since 1968 and has been a hotel use since that time, even though that is not a permitted use under ID zoning.
Planning Director Marvin Flanigan said Thursday that the property has always been zoned industrial but 40 years ago zoning classifications were not as strictly enforced.
"The industrial zoning was there when they first built the facility," Flanigan said.
Flanigan said the zoning discrepancy came to light earlier this summer while work was under way at the hotel. Flanigan said the hotel owner did not have a permit to do the work and the city issued a stop work order. That's when it was discovered that the hotel was a nonconforming use. The rezoning was necessary in order for the owners to continue work at the hotel, he said.
Haber said the hotel owners plan to convert the hotel, which has also been a Ramada Inn, to an extended stay facility. He said the owners, who bought the property out of foreclosure, plan to make $300,000 in capital improvements to the interior of the building.
In response to questions from the council, Haber said no one will be allowed to live at the hotel.
Flanigan added that city zoning does not allow hotels to be treated as dwellings.
"Basically, what that means is you can't have cooking inside that facility," he said.
The council approved the zoning change unanimously, with Councilman Gerald Hinesley absent.