In a 4-1 decision, the East Ridge City Council passed a ban on future extended-stay hotels with two key amendments Thursday night.
All council members voted in favor of the ban except Denny Manning, who abstained.
The ordinance aims to rid the city of extended-stay hotels by defining hotels and motels as "temporary sleeping accommodations" and stipulating that guests cannot stay longer than 30 days at a time in one hotel.
City Manager Tim Gobble said the ordinance was amended to ensure it does not unintentionally target the city's well-operated hotels.
The first change allowed for some small kitchen appliances to be placed in guest rooms instead of banning the appliances all together.
The second change regarded the 30-day limit on a guest's stay in a hotel. Gobble acknowledged that in some instances, legitimate travelers may need to stay in a hotel for longer than 30 days.
"For instance, a FEMA disaster worker, or somebody who might be burned out of a house, may need to stay for more than 30 days," Gobble said. "But their intent is not to make it a permanent residence."
The language of the ordinance was adjusted to allow guests to stay in a hotel longer than 30 days, as long as they do not intend to make it a permanent residence.
The ordinance will not affect the nine extended-stay hotels already operating in East Ridge. It will, however, prevent new ones from opening.
City Council members hope to weed out existing extended-stay hotels through attrition — if one ever closes or ceases operating it cannot be reopened as an extended-stay, Gobble said.
Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...