Hotel Development


Hotel Site Selection & Development in Manatee County
Recent enhancements to the sports performance industry in Manatee County have brought thousands of new visitors to the area. Expansions of activities at IMG Academies, Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch and Ft. Hamer Park Rowing Facility, and World Class Rowing’s Nathan Benderson Park off University Parkway continue to bring a steady stream of new visitors to our area that require overnight accommodations.
Hotels are encouraged in a wide variety of locations in unincorporated Manatee County. Properties have a range of existing and potential entitlements. The following describes different properties for hotel development in terms of being the “most ready” to build on to the sites that may need more entitlement work, but the locations are generally consistent with the County’s land development rules.
Existing Entitlements – Correct Land Use Designation, Zoning &
Existing Development Orders allowing Hotel Development
Large Projects. Many larger properties have entitlements for hotels, such as: Creekwood (100 rooms) Lakewood Ranch (705 rooms), Heritage Harbor (300 rooms), River Club Park of Commerce (270 rooms), Tara (81 rooms) and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (292 rooms). Hotels in these projects would require an administrative site plan and building permit review. Many allow taller (<35’) buildings. (DRI Webpage)
Planned Development (PD) Zoning. Many projects with PD zoning have hotels as approved uses. Most sites with Industrial Light Future Land Use and Planned Development Encouragement Zone (PDEZ) zoning in the Port area have hotels as a permitted use, just requiring an administrative site plan and building permit review.
At Commercial Location, Correct Land Use
Designation, but needs Zoning or Development Order
Located at a Commercial Location/Node (within 1,500 of intersection of major roads), requiring a General Development Plan (GDP) site plan and public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners (if greater than 30,000 square feet – as most hotels are).  Rezone can be done simultaneously with GDP. Hotels in Village zoning districts (Parrish & Myakka) require a site plan and one public hearing before a hearing officer, followed by building permits.
At Commercial Node
These sites are within a Commercial Node. These sites require a Future Land Use Map amendment, taking approximately 90 days. Simultaneously, a GDP site plan and zoning change can be processed. This entails a public hearing before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners, with a third public hearing for the final adoption of the Future Land Use Map amendment. After Final Site Plan review, building permits can move forward.

Other Things to Know

Maximum Floor to Area Ratios. for Hotels is 1.0 in all districts, except Mixed Use in the Community Redevelopment Areas and Urban Infill Area which allows 2.0.

Building Height. Building heights can be greater than 35’ near the interstate interchanges, major arterials, and Community Redevelopment Areas but require public hearing. Buildings can be 45’+ in industrial areas. Additional setbacks required if adjacent to existing residential. Greater than 45’ can be achieved with public hearings. Some large projects and DRIs (e.g., Lakewood Center, University Lakes) allow buildings taller than 35’.
Map Illustrating Potential Hotel Sites (Tier 1 and Tier 2)
Maps by Region
Please let us know how we can assist you. Contact John Osborne, the Planning Official at 941-748-4501 x6825.