Arlington reviews zoning changes to attract major hotel chain

arl-logo-colorThe amended Arlington Zoning Ordinance discussed at the Jan. 3 town board meeting showed major changes in preparation for big growth. The town’s leadership wants to attract a major hotel chain to locate next to the upcoming West Tennessee Veterans Home, which will serve veterans in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties.

The revised ordinance had its first reading at the January meeting, and the second reading will be in February. Changes include lowering the sizes of guest rooms for the hotel, paving driveways and parking spaces, adding clarification for fencing around pools and spas for safety reasons, and distinguishing parking needs between a kennel and veterinary office. The paving of driveways and parking spaces is something that the town has been trying to accomplish for several years, and a solid strategy is still in the works.

“We’re going to go back and re-work the ideas about the hotel and the driveways in February,” Alderman Hugh Lamar said after the meeting.

The board agreed that the town does not want a cheap hotel or motel sitting near the interstate exit. Aldermen discussed hotel amenities they want to see, including a large breakfast room, pool and weight room.

“We want an upscale hotel since the veteran’s home is going to be here,” Lamar said. “We hope people will come here and stay a couple of days, so we’re hoping for a nice Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn.”

Arlington also has raised $94,000 for its contribution to the upcoming veterans’ home. “My goal for my team is to raise $100,000,” Lamar said. “The home will be a 144-bed facility, which is financed 65 percent by the government and 35 percent by the state. That means we had to raise $25 million.”

Lamar is confident that the town’s goal of $100,000 will be met by March.

In other business:

  • The Arlington Fire Department reported a total of 1,205 calls in 2016. The month of December was a quiet one for the fire report with no special circumstance calls.
  • The town of Arlington’s budget was approved for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1.
  • The board received the audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, presented by Alexander Thompson Arnold.
  • The Finance Committee meeting is planned for Friday, Jan. 13.
  • The Arlington Beer Board approved an off-premises beer permit for Star Visions LLC, doing business as Arlington Quick Market at 11933 Highway 70, in Arlington. The permit is required because the business has changed ownership.

Written by A.J. Dugger III, special to the Express.