The developer of a proposed hotel approved by Hall County in 2019 is now seeking Gainesville’s OK so the property can have sewer access.
WS Hotels LLC is asking Gainesville to annex the 5.5-acre site off Crescent Drive and Jesse Jewell Parkway, near Interstate 985, for a 123-room Woodspring Signature Suites Extended Stay Hotel.
The site, which also is across from the Hall County Farmers Market, also would include a separate 7,500-square-foot retail building, possibly featuring a Dunkin Donuts.
WS Hotels got approval for the project Sept. 3 by the Hall County Planning Commission, but Hall planners said the developer might need to go through Gainesville to get sewer access.
A Gainesville planning document regarding the project confirms as much, saying, “The purpose of the (annexation) request is to access sewer for the development.”
The issue is set to go before the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on Wednesday, Jan. 14.
The hotel “is intended for economy-minded business travelers, providing them with all of the amenities of a hotel, without a swimming pool and breakfast/kitchen operations,” WS Hotels says in its application. “This development will be a welcome addition to the commercial district underway and growing.”
If approved, Woodspring would be Gainesville’s first new hotel since the city passed new rules governing hotels on Dec. 17, including restrictions on lengths of stays and record-keeping requirements.
Hotels are allowed to provide lodging in a room for up to 15 days, while guests at extended-stay hotels can stay for up to 30 days. Any hotel that has fixed cooking appliances or a kitchen in at least 5% of the rooms would be designated as extended-stay.
City officials said the focus of the regulations — which drew public criticism — is public safety, and hotels being used as long-term living spaces can become a fire hazard.
Moe Hazni, representing WS Hotels, said he wasn’t very familiar with the new rules.
Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board
What: Proposed annexation for a Woodspring Signature Suites Extended Stay Hotel at 400 Crescent Drive
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14
Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway