Extended Stay Hotel Use

hotel use requirements within a multi-family residential property

The recent trend of providing limited stay hotel use within residential properties has provided owners with a new business opportunity.  This opportunity does require some additional considerations since the hotel use differs typical market-rate apartment uses.  The difference stems from the occupant’s length of stay since hotel guests have shorter stays and have less familiarity with the building - especially from a life safety perspective. The first item the owner needs to review is the current zoning and permitted use of the property. If permitted, a Change-of-Use permit submission would be required and reviewed with the owner’s zoning consultant and attorneys.

Uses allowed in Commercial Districts

Uses Allowed in Commercial Districts, per Philadelphia 2018 Zoning

Hotel use, per the building code, has more stringent accessibility requirements. Residential use (R-2) requires both Type A and Type B accessible units while hotel use (R-1) requires Accessible and Type B units. Accessible and Type A are not the same, and they possess different requirements. Accessible units have the highest degree of access and accessible use that extends to clearances and making the experience equal for all occupants.

Ventilation and window operation would also need to be considered. If natural ventilation is being pursued, an operable window within the units would be required for all users. While mechanical ventilation at Type A units would satisfy this ventilation requirement, a fully Accessible unit would still need to consider operable windows for an equivalent experience for guests.

As there are additional opportunities and added revenue for the owner, there are additional costs and space requirements. These need to be weighed and evaluated early on by the owner to understand the total benefit of the venture.

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