You want to build a hotel or motel in New York State. Even before purchasing the property, the first question you must answer is: Is this hotel or motel permitted by zoning at the proposed location?
Zoning ordinances are local laws which govern the use of land and the size and configuration of buildings (generally referred to as “area” regulations outside of New York City) on the land. The zoning map for a municipality shows what uses and building configurations are permitted at what locations (zoning districts). Most zoning districts separate, at the very least, commercial and industrial uses from residential uses. As commercial uses, hotels and motels are likely to be limited to a narrow range of locations, which are shown on the local zoning map. Depending on the municipality, the local zoning office or planning department will have zoning maps and can advise you as to whether your location is acceptable for a hotel or motel. Be sure to ask whether changes to the zoning are contemplated that would no longer permit a hotel or motel at the location you’re considering.