Southaven Board of Alderman approved a request to amend a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at the Sports Center to allow for the development of a possible future hotel.
Murphy & Gross, the developer of the Diamonds of Snowden Grove PUD, requested the city add in a hotel as an allowable use on three lots located on the east side of Snowden Lane between Goodman and Nail Road.
Southaven Planning and Development Director Whitney Choat-Cook said two of the lots are directly adjacent to the entrance into Snowden Grove Baseball Complex, while the third lot sits north of Pine Tar Alley adjacent to the new soccer fields.
Cook said staff looked at the lots and recommended against allowing a hotel use on the two lots located on the south side going into the park because it would overshadow the visibility of the entrance to the sports complex and block the city’s Parks Office. Staff is okay, however, with the lot located next to Strike Zone Bowling being used for a potential two to three story hotel.
“We are not okay with lot 1 and 2,” Cook said. “One, that would obstruct visibility to our parks office and the sports center. And two, it would be on the main entrance in our Snowden Grove Park. We didn’t want to obstruct that.”
Cook said staff also looked at factors such as the character of the neighborhood and other similar areas with sports complexes to see if there were hotels in close proximity, and determined that a hotel would be an acceptable use and benefit that particular location.
“We determined that the hotel type that would be proposed here would be more of a destination one for the recreational uses of the sports complex versus somebody down by the hospital on Goodman Road,” Cook said.
Staff’s report noted that the land has already been rezoned to commercial uses. The city’s comprehensive plan also shows this area as commercial/recreational uses which could include a hotel.
Cook said the amendment to the PUD does not say that a hotel is coming and would still require the applicant to go through the normal planning approval process.
“It just puts it as an option under that PUD to allow it as a usable piece of property for a hotel,” Cook said. “For them to do the amendment, there must be somebody interested in putting one there.”
The amendment was approved by the planning commission with one lone dissent.
“He just thought they should stay on Goodman Road,” Cook said. “The remainder of the commissioners disagreed with that. I do feel this is a different option for a hotel use.”
When asked about the potential future uses for the other two lots, Cook said they would be well suited to some form of recreational use that would complement the park system.
“I think a recreational use would be great there, something the smaller kids could utilize,” Cook said. “Something that is lower to the ground than a three story hotel that is going to block the view and take away from the enhancement of the main entrance to the park.”