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A once-rejected extended-stay hotel could get back on track with this Oakwood City Council action
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Candlewood Suites, an extended-stay hotel chain, has proposed building a 5-story, 87-room hotel on this site in Oakwood near Mundy Mill Road and Interstate 985. - photo by Jeff Gill

Update, Aug. 10: Oakwood City Council gave its OK to a land-use plan change Monday, Aug. 10.

Previous story: A proposal for an extended-stay hotel may be back on track in Oakwood. 

Oakwood City Council voted in February to deny rezoning for a 5-story, 87-room Candlewood Suites at 3783 Mundy Mill Drive, behind Best Western Plus Lake Lanier Gainesville Hotel & Suites and near Mundy Mill Road and Interstate 985. 

At the time, officials said the project didn’t fit the comprehensive land-use plan’s “character area,” or vision for how an area could develop. The city’s 2017 land-use plan gives a look at how different areas of the city might look in 20 years. 

The applicant, Detroit Lender LLC, is seeking to have the city change the area including the proposed site on the land-use plan from residential to commercial so that it can the pursue a commercial project – the hotel. The issue is set to go before the Oakwood City Council on Monday, Aug. 10. 

The plan change wouldn’t automatically allow the hotel. Detroit Lender would still have to seek a rezoning change if it wants to pursue the project. 

“This request is directly compatible with the comp plan for the expansion of the existing commercial base and redevelopment of an area that’s considered to be in decline,” community development director Sandy Weinel told the Oakwood Planning Commission on July 20. 

Oakwood City Council 

What: land-use plan change that could allow rezoning for extended-stay hotel 

When: 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10 

Where: Oakwood City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle 

A company official couldn’t be reached for comment. 

Raj Patel, speaking for the applicant at the planning board meeting, described the hotel as more upscale than other extended-stay hotels. 

“You would not see a school bus pull up in front of this hotel picking up kids,” he said. 

The Candlewood website describes the chain as a “more casual kind of longer stay, where you'll always feel at home.” 

City Manager B.R. White noted that the city adopted regulations in June on extended-stay hotels “to help mitigate concerns from the public, if and when a new proposal arises.” 

Under the new rules, hotels would be allowed to provide lodging in a room for up to 15 consecutive days and 30 days during a 180-day period, with some exceptions, including insurance proof that a person or persons have been displaced from their home because of disaster, such as fire. 

A hotel is considered extended stay if more than 5% of its rooms have fixed cooking appliances and a kitchen, according to the city’s rules. 

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