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Thread: Extended stay hotel next to elementary school

  1. #1
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    Extended stay hotel next to elementary school

    Our Planning Commission is considering whether to approve an extended stay hotel immediately adjacent to an existing elementary school. Both are located within a business park zone. The City approved an amendment to the Code to allow school's within the zone as a conditional use. The extended stay is also permitted as a conditional use.

    Approval of the conditional use permit requires the planning commision find that the extended stay use "will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, general welfare or convenience." At first blush, it would seem obvious that such a use next to an elementary school would potentially pose a risk. That said, I have been unable to find much documented evidence of the risks posed by extended stay hotel (other than media incident reports).

    Does anyone have any resources on this issue that they could point me to or have any comments on the matter? I noted that "mallen" indicated in a previous post some years ago that their City had prepared an analysis that indicated that 90% of police calls to hotels/motels in their city were to extended stay hotels. (mallen - if you read this, I would love to see the report). This is the kind information.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I have no experience in dealing with an extended stay hotel, let alone in this type of situation. I am very curiuos to hear the outcome. The extended stay hotels I have stayed in are typically more upscale and would think would have less calls... I personally would not be as concerned with an extended stay hotel close to a school, if the school is in a commercial area... But then again I may be way off on this, as I said I would have guess extended stay hotels would have less police calls... Let us know...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Here's a twist on things, would you allow a school seeking to locate next to an extended stay hotel the special use permit?


    I know. A little crazy, but maybe you need to revisit the zoning ordinance for these uses. Better seperation might be needed as indicated by your concerns, otherwise what's to stop two special permitted uses for a zone that allows them (with consideration)? Yah, I know, nothing is guarenteed if you apply for one.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by TCase View post
    Our Planning Commission is considering whether to approve an extended stay hotel immediately adjacent to an existing elementary school. Both are located within a business park zone. The City approved an amendment to the Code to allow school's within the zone as a conditional use. The extended stay is also permitted as a conditional use.

    .
    IMO, the amendment has nothing to do with this situation (the school already exists). Since both uses are conditional uses within this district, then I think each has a right to co-exist, provided neither will be detrimental to the public health, safety, general welfare or convenience of its neighbors.

    I always thought that there had to be a significant or substantial detriment to the public health, safety, general welfare, etc. Wish I had my Callies, Freilich, Roberts casebook on Land Use Law right now (it's back at the office).

  5. #5
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    Extended Stay Clientele?

    My first concern in hearing this is about the clientele who the extended stay hotel is targeting. Perhaps it's just because sexual predators are a hot topic down here in FL, but I have to think that sexual predators fall into the "hard to house" category and might be likely to take advantage of an extended stay hotel, especially if it's pretty affordable. In my experience with afforable housing research, an extended stay hotel can often act as a pseudo-Single-Room Occupancy development. Obviously, with a school nearby, attracting sexual predators to an affordable, short-term housing option would be a problem. Since there's no background check on a hotel guest like there would be at an apartment property, this is more likely to occue without anyone knowing. (Of course, this could apply to any type of hotel, but an extended stay hotel by definition indicates the predator would be in the area longer.) But if it's a more upscale hotel that is on the expensive side for people not getting a travel reimbursement, then it might be okay.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    What are the other uses around the hotel? You said its a business park district...are there businesses? Major Corps. where this hotel would be used for peeps coming in for conferences, meetings, etc.

    If that is the case, i see no problem. As it will be used by businesspersons. But if not the case, I dont know that I still see a problem. How is this ny different than a low rent apt. complex? We put them next to schools all the time.

    You may be reading a little too much into this.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I kind of agree with Jeff... If these are big concerns, then in the future make one of the requirements a separation between the two uses, some minimum distance. Ya, I know doesn't help you now though with the issue sitting in front of you! LOL

  8. #8

    Conditions for the Conditional Use Permit

    Why not recommend increased setbacks as a condition for approval, or recommend a condition that would force the applicant to orient the building in such a fashion that all entries/exits could be easily observed from the street with a condition that any required landscaping be maintained in such a fashion as to facilitate easy passive surveillance

    I'm thinking of a Crime Prevention Thru Environmental Design sort of approach...

    ...and THEN you go get a code amendment going so you don't have to deal with it again!

  9. #9
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    extended stay hotel concern

    Quote Originally posted by TCase View post
    Our Planning Commission is considering whether to approve an extended stay hotel immediately adjacent to an existing elementary school. Both are located within a business park zone. The City approved an amendment to the Code to allow school's within the zone as a conditional use. The extended stay is also permitted as a conditional use.

    Approval of the conditional use permit requires the planning commision find that the extended stay use "will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, general welfare or convenience." At first blush, it would seem obvious that such a use next to an elementary school would potentially pose a risk. That said, I have been unable to find much documented evidence of the risks posed by extended stay hotel (other than media incident reports).

    Does anyone have any resources on this issue that they could point me to or have any comments on the matter? I noted that "mallen" indicated in a previous post some years ago that their City had prepared an analysis that indicated that 90% of police calls to hotels/motels in their city were to extended stay hotels. (mallen - if you read this, I would love to see the report). This is the kind information.

    Thanks for the help.
    I am interested in learning more about negative effects of extended stay hotels--the zoning board is considering approval of an extended stay development in a small business area that boarders our 577 single family home development. I have not been able to find much on the subject other than some trash on extened stay america.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    You know, the extended stay hotel might not want to be so near a school- pedophiles are not allowed to live within so many feet (1000 here in Iowa, but there's a minimum almost everywhere) and that might severely restrict their clientele.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Why the assumption that people staying at an extended stay hotel are all degenerates who will prey on kids? This is not an SRO. It is a facility typically used by people who have just moved to the area while they purchase a home, or by people from outside of the area who may be working an extended period in the city. These both tend to be people in good-paying, white collar positions. They are not people who can't find room in a half-way house. A location in a business district / industrial park is ideal for this use. The reason why uses like this or other commercial uses are usually not included by right is not that they are undesirable, bu that there is a preference to locate primary employment within the area. Because commercial uses may support that primary employment, they may be included as a conditional use. The better question here is why would you want a school in an industrial park?
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian The District's avatar
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    SLC's police department should be tracking both the number and location of incidents they respond to. You should have no problem getting these statistics from your local PD, assuming they're cooperative. Just be sure to sort out the SROs from the extended stay hotels. You'll get very different numbers for these two types of land uses.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    Although the case in question has presumably been approved or denied long ago, I imagine that others will stumble upon this thread in the future while researching something or other (as I did), so another post may still be helpful.

    In the particular case in SLC, I presume that the subject neighborhood is in the west part of town, as this is where the brown- and green-field development is occurring in SLC, and where the business parks are located. This is also the part of town that is less desirable for residential uses, although it has some neighborhoods with great urban form (Rose Park, for instance), because it is the industrial part of town, nearer the airport, on the "wrong side of the tracks," and is far from the vibrant urban/pedestrian centers that make the east side of SLC a fantastic place to live. All of that is beside the point of the question, but provides some context (which is always important).

    Presumably, the question is whether or not an extended-stay hotel (or its clients) will pose a threat to the school. An equally valid question is, however, will the school pose a threat to the hotel guests? School shootings seem to be more common in the US than massacres at hotels, and presumably the school has a policy (and enforcement) regarding visitors on school grounds to prevent hotel guests from hanging around the school. But kids running around and playing and yelling could be rather loud first thing in the morning, and the traffic peaks could interfere with circulation at the hotel as well. Presumably the hotel will have some sort of security (even if just cameras) as well, so it wouldn't be a great place for a pedophile to take a kid.

    I am confused about the apparent disdain many people have for SROs, as evidenced by the multiple comparisons between extended-stay hotels and SROs in this thread. We don't have any SROs in my community, but I'm working on figuring out how to define/regulate them so that they can be constructed (which is how I found this thread), because they serve a housing need that is currently unmet here. We have lots of seasonal workers (winter has legislative aides and lobbyists, summer has construction workers and tourism-related workers), and they need somewhere to live--they often end up having to rent a house or apartment with co-workers (who they don't know), which takes up housing suited for families and exposes the potential SRO resident to the issues of having a house-mate they don't know--theft and lifestyle differences causing tension are some of the most common issues arising from this (my next door neighbor had his entire summer savings stolen by his roommate last year--he had to stay through the winter to earn enough money to move out of the state and back home). Providing a housing option where these guys could live by themselves would be much better for everyone. Is the primary problem with SROs that they tend to be older buildings in disrepair and poor management, which lead to questionable individuals being tenants? Or is there something inherently bad about SROs that I don't know about?

  14. #14
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    I'd love to know if there were any updates on zoning the extended stay hotel across from the school

    I got on the blog today because I am deeply concerned about a hotel going in right across from an elementary school in my neighborhood, so I was looking if there was any precedent on this. They have Megan's Law in place for a reason - kids do get sexually abused. It doesn't matter the expense or length of stay of the hotel, this can happen. Having a hotel within the range of acceptability seems to be breaking that law. I also want to point out that hotels are frequently points of prostitution as well. Not something you want right across from a school. I'm just wondering if there have been any updates from other communities about if they allowed this or not.
    Thank you!

  15. #15
    I rarely patronage strip clubs, but my first and favorite was a really seedy one directly across the street from a Catholic Church and High School in Jacksonville, FL. (It was also the same church that I attended in Jacksonville. ) The area is affluent, and it always struck me as odd that such an establishment could be located so close to a school. The church and school were built well before the strip club opened, which is more puzzling. At the end of the day it met local code and no laws were broken.

    To answer your question, it's likely that the location of the new Extended Stay is legal per local codes and you should share your legitimate concerns with your elected officials. It's probably too late to stop this development if it's already been approved by the city.
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Concerned View post
    I got on the blog today because I am deeply concerned about a hotel going in right across from an elementary school in my neighborhood, so I was looking if there was any precedent on this. They have Megan's Law in place for a reason - kids do get sexually abused. It doesn't matter the expense or length of stay of the hotel, this can happen. Having a hotel within the range of acceptability seems to be breaking that law. I also want to point out that hotels are frequently points of prostitution as well. Not something you want right across from a school. I'm just wondering if there have been any updates from other communities about if they allowed this or not.
    Thank you!
    I see no reason why a hotel would be any different from nearly any other commercial use. There is no data I am aware of that suggests that hotels are any more a danger to kids, that they attract prostitution, or that they are a location where kids are abused. We are not talking about a stereotypical run-down SRO as seen on TV, providing cheap lodging to drunks and ex-cons, but a modern chain hotel. Where are kids most likely to be abused? Their own home. By your logic, perhaps we should prohibit any residential uses within a quarter mile or more of all of our schools.
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  17. #17
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by OfficialPlanner View post
    I rarely patronage strip clubs, but my first and favorite was a really seedy one directly across the street from a Catholic Church and High School in Jacksonville, FL. (It was also the same church that I attended in Jacksonville. ) The area is affluent, and it always struck me as odd that such an establishment could be located so close to a school. The church and school were built well before the strip club opened, which is more puzzling. At the end of the day it met local code and no laws were broken.

    To answer your question, it's likely that the location of the new Extended Stay is legal per local codes and you should share your legitimate concerns with your elected officials. It's probably too late to stop this development if it's already been approved by the city.
    Your strip club example is interesting. I kind of wonder if it was allowed to go there intentionally, as those adjacent uses would be quick to complain if anything illegal was going on. I used the same approach in locating a skate park next to the library--figured it would help keep an eye on it and minimize vandalism.

    I guess I have a much different perspective on extended stay because those I've been around have been new construction and located near major business centers. They were all pretty up-scale as a means to support staff that often come in for 1-2 months during the business week and then fly back home to wherever. If you are concerned, I would suggest an approach similar to what tylersorrells posted as far as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. All of his suggestions are things that a planning department can probably ask for and possibly get even with it being a by-right permitted use--they are 'good neighbor' concessions that likely don't add much cost, if any. Personally, I don't worry much about extended stay hotels as new construction.

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  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    I have two kinds of extended stays in town. The nice ones run by a chain and the roach motels run by local "business" men. The roach motels are often old motor courts that have lived past their prime and have been converted into a place to sleep for people who can't afford an apartment. They usually have no maintenance and you get creeped out just looking at them. If someone has a problem, I would target these places and not the new ones. New buildings usually have so much invested that they tend to stay crime free and actually improve a neighborhood. I guess part also goes to what's around the new hotel.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian Doberman's avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about prostitution or pedophiles at extended stays. The rates for these hotels are usually high and based on a week by week basis.

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